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Elections 2014: Clay Aiken’s opponent in NC primary election passes away in home

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A Democratic candidate who was competing to be the Democratic nominee for North Carolina’s 2nd District died due to injuries from a fall on Monday. Seventy-one-year-old Keith Crisco was running against former ‘American Idol’ runner-up Clay Aiken in North Carolina’s congressional primary election. Last week’s primary election determined Crisco was just 369 votes short of Aiken, who is making his first run for public office. Today, election officials in the county will be determining whether or not a runoff election would have been triggered.

North Carolina rules state that if a candidate doesn’t receive 40 percent of the vote, a primary runoff election must take place. The results from last week showed both Aiken and Crisco with about 40 percent of the vote, which means Crisco could have called for a recount . In fact, the state Democratic party had said that a recount had been anticipated. However, according to CBS, Democratic strategist Brad Cone stated that Crisco had planned on conceding the race today.

In light of the Crisco’s death, Aiken issued a statement declaring that he will suspend any campaign activities to allow time for prayer for the family and friends of Crisco. His statement noted that Crisco was a “gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant.”

Crisco had previously served in local as well as state government and founded an elastics business in Asheboro.

After Crisco’s death, it is now almost assured that Clay Aiken will be the Democratic nominee to go against incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers in November.

Ellmers also issued a statement following news of Crisco’s death. She said,"His kindness and dedication to his principles were models we should all strive toward, and he will be dearly missed."

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