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Clay Aiken’s political opponent in North Carolina found dead

Clay Aiken, the “American Idol” winner running for the Democratic nomination to North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, issued a statement today when his opponent in the race died, according to ET News on May 12. Keith Crisco, 70, was found dead inside his home on Monday by emergency responders.

Clay Aiken's opponent for the Democratic nomination in N.C.'s 2nd Congressional District was found dead today
Clay Aiken's opponent for the Democratic nomination in N.C.'s 2nd Congressional District was found dead todayPhoto by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Upon learning of Crisco’s death, Clay Aiken issued the following statement. "I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco's death. Keith came from humble beginnings. No matter how high he rose -- to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor's Cabinet – he never forgot where he came from. He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends."

The race was considered too close to call. After last Tuesday’s balloting, it was thought that Clay Aiken was leading Keith Crisco by only 369 votes. Both were waiting for confirmation from election officials before saying anything.

Clayton Holmes “Clay” Aiken rose to fame on the TV show “American Idol” in 2003. He came in second to Ruben Studdard and was offered a recording contract by RCA Records. His debut album, “Measure of a Man,” was released in October of 2003 and went platinum. He later released four more albums. Aiken then switched to Decca Records and has released two more albums on that label.

Clay Aiken has been on 11 tours, written a book and produced a 2004 televised Christian special. He has appeared as a guest star on many television shows and was a frequent guest on late night TV. He is an advocate for gay rights and is involved in charity work. A former special education teacher, Clay created the National Inclusion Project, accepted a UNICEF ambassador ship and was appointed to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2006.

Aiken announced his intentions of running for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District in February of this year.