On Wednesday, February 5th, Clay Aiken announced that he is running for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District in North Carolina.
newsobserver.com – Clay Aiken makes it official: He will run for Congress
BY CRAIG JARVIS
Singer Clay Aiken will officially announce his campaign for Congress on Wednesday, injecting a nationally known personality into what has been a quiet Democratic primary to produce a challenger to U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Aiken’s decision to enter the race has already reshaped the field. Houston Barnes, a young attorney who lives in Durham, plans to announce Wednesday he is withdrawing from the race and supporting Aiken.
That leaves former state commerce secretary Keith Crisco of Asheboro and licensed professional counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville as Aiken’s primary opponents.
In a video that will be posted online Wednesday, and in an interview with The News & Observer on Tuesday in Raleigh, Aiken portrays himself as someone who is not a politician. He emphasizes his personal story – growing up in a home torn apart by domestic violence – and says it inspired him to be a voice for the powerless…
…“I saw this as the best place I could serve, because I think Washington, in general, is dysfunctional,” Aiken said. “I think it’s high time we put people in Congress who were not beholden to their party, and not beholden to anything but the people who they live around and grew up around, in my case.”
Aiken, 35, said jobs and the economy will be important campaign themes; specifically, emphasizing education as a way to get people back to work, including through adult job retraining programs.
He said he would press Ellmers to explain her voting record that cut funding for military families. “She didn’t have to run on her record last time,” Aiken said. “I plan on changing that. I want her to have to talk about and defend some of the things she’s done to people in this district.”…
…It has made him wealthy, but he has also used the money to establish a $2 million foundation to help children with disabilities.
Over the years he has weighed in on a number of controversial local issues, ranging from the Wake County School Board’s opposition to busing for diversity, to North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Aiken in 2008 publicly declared that he was gay; he has a partner and they have a young son who was born through in-vitro fertilization.
Aiken said Tuesday he doesn’t think being gay will be an issue with voters.
“People care about jobs, they care about the economy, they care about being able to pay for college,” he said. “That (his sexuality) is an issue that doesn’t affect many people in this district or this state.”…
…But Barnes, the candidate who is dropping out of the race, says Ellmers is vulnerable and Aiken is the best Democrat for the job.
Barnes, 31, said Tuesday that Aiken’s campaign consultants approached him a few weeks ago and convinced him the party’s best shot was to try to avoid a bruising primary and marshal forces against Ellmers. He said he would be making public appearances with Aiken in the coming weeks.
Neither Crisco nor Morris could be reached for comment on what Aiken’s entry into the race would mean for them…
There is much more in this article. You can read the entire article at news observer
And the picture is by COREY LOWENSTEIN — firstname.lastname@example.org
The day has just begun and I am sure there will be a lot of news. Please check back. I will try hard to post as much as I can as the day goes by.
Be sure and visit Clay’s new website: CLAYAIKEN
Charlotteobserver – Clay Aiken makes it official: He will run for Congress
Watch this wonderful YouTube from Clay about why he decided to run: