Clay Aiken Reportedly Considering Congressional Run in North Carolina

"American Idol" season two runner-up Clay Aiken is considering dipping his toe in political waters, reports the Washington Blade.

Aiken is actively researching running for Congress in North Carolina's 2nd District, including consulting with politicos in Washington, D.C., two Democratic sources familiar with his plans told the Blade.

One Democratic source said Aiken has spoken with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has met with figures in Raleigh, N.C. about a potential bid, and is "sounding and acting like a candidate."

Aiken has reportedly been working with Betsy Conti, a N.C.-based political strategist, and was in D.C. in December to examine polling data.

The seat Aiken would vie for is currently held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers. Ellmers defeated incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge, who had been in office since 1997, in 2010 with less than 1 percent of the vote in her district.

Since his appearance on "Idol" in 2003, Aiken, 35, has sold more than six million albums, appeared on Broadway in "Spamalot," and featured on TV series such as "Celebrity Apprentice."

The Raleigh, N.C. native parlayed his fame into successful activism over the past decade as an ambassador for the United States Fund for UNICEF and as co-founder of the National Inclusion Project (formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation).

He also appeared at a briefing on Capitol Hill in 2010 on behalf of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, to urge for passage of anti-bullying legislation with LGBT protections known as the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

"Like many kids now in middle schools and high schools, I was bullied," the Blade reports that Aiken said at the time. “I was picked on, I was called gay, I was called fag, I was called sissy, you name it. Fortunately, I was able to overcome it and live through it because of a number of friends who were supportive of me.”

Aiken, the father of 5-year-old son Parker, revealed his homosexuality in a People magazine article in 2008. “It was the first decision I made as a father,” Aiken told People. "I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that."

Aiken's representatives and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have yet to comment on the possible congressional run. The filing deadline to participate in the North Carolina primary is Feb. 28. The primary itself is set for May 6.

Contact Us