Clay Aiken announces North Carolina run for Congress as a Democrat

Former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is making a second bid for Congress in his home state of North Carolina. 

Aiken will run as a Democrat in the 6th Congressional District after previously making an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014. Currently, the district that Aiken is running in includes Chapel Hill and other Orange County communities, plus Apex, Morrisville, most of Cary and a sliver of Raleigh. 

However, Fox8 reports that the situation remains fluid as a 3-judge panel in Wake County Circuit Court will rule Tuesday on three lawsuits that ere filed that seek to challenge how the General Assembly has drawn the maps for 14 Congressional seats and the state Senate. 

As a result, Aiken and other hopefuls cannot formally file for their races. However, that didn’t stop the former “American Idol” contestant from launching his campaign intention with a video on social media. 

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Clay Aiken announced that he's running for office once again.

Clay Aiken announced that he’s running for office once again.
(Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Aiken opens the video by noting that life has changed for him in the 20 years since he debuted to the public on the singing competition.

“I came home, I came out, I became a father. These days, my life looks a lot more like yours than Justin Biebers’, that I can promise you,” he says in the video. “But one thing that’s never changed for me is how much I love my home state. North Carolina is the place that I discovered first that I have a voice and that it was a voice that could be used for more than singing.”

Clay Aiken was on the second season of "American Idol."

Clay Aiken was on the second season of “American Idol.”
(Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images)

Aiken went on to note that North Carolina used to be a “progressive beacon in the South” before naming specific politicians like U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn and North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson. He compared the duo and their rhetoric to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert.

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Clay Aiken ran for Congress in 2014.

Clay Aiken ran for Congress in 2014.
(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

“These people are taking up all the oxygen in the room and, I’ve got to tell you, I am sick of it,” he continues. “As democrats, we have got to get better at speaking up and using our voices because those people aren’t quieting down any time soon. That’s why I am running for Congress, here in this community that raised me and where I first discovered my voice.” 

The singer-turned-politician went on to outline a candidacy that will dedicate itself to “stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality, gun violence” and to “securing voting rights, free healthcare and a women’s right to choose.”

“We are the ones who are going to solve the country’s biggest problems, and we are the ones who are going to defend our most precious rights,” he adds. 

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Aiken concludes by noting that he would be the first openly-gay Congressman from the South if he were elected. 

“If the loudest and most hateful voices think they’re going to speak for us, just tell them I’m warming up the old vocal cords,” he says at the end of the video. 

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Aiken previously ran against Republican Renee Ellmers in 2014 but ultimately lost the race in what was then the 2nd District by 18 points. 

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