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Clay Aiken, ‘American Idol’ alum, considering run for Congress from North Carolina

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Vincent Soyez -
Clay Aiken.

Singer Clay Aiken, who became a household name a decade ago as the runner-up on “American Idol,” may run for Congress, The Washington Blade reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

Aiken, a UNC Charlotte alum and Raleigh native, is considering running for the U.S. House District 2 seat currently held by Rep. Renee Ellmers, the Blade reported. It said the singer, a registered Democrat, has met with political operatives, including talking with the Democratic Congressional Campaign committee, according to unnamed sources.

The Blade said representatives for Aiken did not respond to a request for comment.

Aiken has dived into politics before. In 2012, he spoke out against a state amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. The singer had announced in 2008 that he was gay. In an April 2012 interview with the Observer’s SouthPark Magazine, Aiken said he loved politics and once dreamed of becoming the governor of North Carolina. But at the time, he said people shouldn’t expect to see his name on a ballot “for the foreseeable future.”

Ellmers, a Republican from Dunn, is in her second term in the U.S. House but has faced criticism both in and outside of her party.

At least three other people are considering running against Ellmers: Republican and radio talk show host Frank Roche launched a campaign last month; Democrat and former N.C. Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco has formed a campaign committee; and attorney and Democrat Houston Barnes announced a bid in October.

Filing for office opens Feb. 10.

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