Clay Aiken Will Officially Become Democratic Nominee in North Carolina
“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is set to be certified as the Democratic nominee in North Carolina’s 2nd District, after the North Carolina State Board of Elections received the tally of all votes cast in last Tuesday’s primary.
As of May 6, Aiken led former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco by about 370 votes . After all of the votes were reported from the nine counties within the district on Tuesday, Aiken gained an additional 21 votes, leaving him with 40.86 percent to Crisco’s 39.49 percent.
That tally pushed Aiken over the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff, and out of the range possible to trigger a recount.
The news comes one day after Crisco, 71, died suddenly in his home in Asheboro after a fall.
A North Carolina Democratic operative and friend of Crisco said Monday that Crisco was set to concede to Aiken before his death.
Aiken now moves on to face GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers in November, although Aiken said in a statement he is suspending all campaigning for the time being to mourn Crisco’s death.
Mitt Romney carried the 2nd District with 58 percent in 2012, making this a difficult district for a Democrat to be competitive.
North Carolina’s 2nd District is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.