On Tuesday, July 8th, Clay Aiken spent the day meeting, greeting and sharing information with the wonderful people of Moore County, North Carolina.
Clay started the day at WEEB Radio, talking to Steve Leader. The radio website has posted a review of the conversation and also has a link to hear the interview. Brant Clifton wrote:
Mr. American Idol got a rather warm welcome this morning in conservative Moore County on WEEB radio’s morning show. Steve Leader’s show is a must-visit destination for any politico seeking votes from bright-red Moore County. Steve and news director Al Mangum put the Democrat nominee for the 2nd congressional district under the microscope.
“Actions taken or not taken in the line of duty are fair game for criticism,” Clay Aiken told the hosts. “I am not going to get into talking about someone’s personal life. I don’t think anyone is all that interested in that kind of thing.”…
The entire article is very interesting. I hope you will read it by clicking on the site…then click on the blue “rather warm welcome” above so you can hear the entire interview. WEEBRADIO
The first social media news we received of the busy day came from Clay and his team on twitter:
Clay Aiken @ClayForNC
Delicious lunch in Moore County! (@ Mac’s Breakfast Anytime) http://4sq.com/1jbQS85
A tweet from Peter Carpenter let us know that he had lunch with Clay. According to his twitter account, Peter is President – Carolina Beach Music Awards – Pinebluff, NC.
Next, we heard from the staff at The Pilot Newspaper on their Facebook account:
From The Pilot, Clay stopped in at Social 165, a restaurant and entertainment lounge in Pinehurst where he talked with a Moore County Woman’s Rountable.
Finally, Clay headed to Sandhills Community College to talk with the Moore County NAACP in a public forum. The Pilot Newspaper sent John Lentz to this forum to report on the event:
The Pilot: Aiken Addresses NAACP on Education, Ellmers
Singer, actor and activist Clay Aiken, the Democratic nominee in the North Carolina 2nd congressional district election for 2014, spoke on the need for changes in education and in the current political climate when he addressed the Moore County NAACP during a Tuesday evening appearance…
… As a former special education teacher for children with autism, Aiken said he was concerned that state politicians were not giving teachers the respect they deserved.
“We’ve got to change the tone in Raleigh and not treat schools as if they were corporations,” he said. “Teachers are not in this business to get rich, they are motivated by seeing their students succeed.”
Aiken acknowledged that many teachers “do not advocate strongly enough” for themselves.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and I will be a big, loud voice for teachers in this area and in the state,” he said. “If I can do something about this situation, then I will have done my job.”
As a Congressman, Aiken said he would “incentivize” students to become teachers in their home districts.
“I would encourage them to come back and teach in the county they grew up in,” he said, “because it would give students the advantage of having teachers who understand what it’s like to live in that county. Today, if they even stay in the state, they go from the rural areas to places like Wake and Durham Counties because the money’s better.”
Aiken said he would also address the “astronomical debt” that students accumulate through college loans.
“With an average debt of $29,000 per student, something has to change,” he said. “I hate that students graduate with idealistic aspirations only to find themselves saddled with a debt that many can’t pay off until they are 30 to 50 years old.
“My opponent (Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers) believes that the market should decide what the interest rates should be. I want to do away with these sky-high interest rates.”
Asked if he would respond in kind if Ellmers’ attacks become personal as the November election nears, Aiken said there was “nothing constructive or productive” in that approach.
“I don’t plan on being dirty or personal towards her, but I also can’t imagine her doing anything but that,” he said. “She used those tactics against her opponent (Steve Wilkins) in 2012, but that is all she seems able to do.”
One considerable difference between himself and Ellmers, Aiken said, is accessibility.
“Right now I am working out of Cary part time, getting our field plan together before the election,” he said. “I spend a couple of days each week in some part of the district, meeting people and listening to supporters. As the Congressman for the 2nd District, I will be an advocate for this area. If something needs attention, you will not find anyone better able to do this than me.”
Asked if he has seen evidence of Ellmers supporters switching to his side, Aiken said he witnesses that “every day.”
“When you cross your arms and do nothing for the people, you get nowhere,” he said. “I ask people what Renee Ellmers has done for people here, when have they seen her and how she has affected their lives in a positive way, but I don’t get much feedback. I would really like to know what she has done to improve people’s lives.”
Last March, Aiken told the Pilot that Ellmers “is not listening to people” in the 2nd District, which includes all Moore County.
“She’s gone up there to serve herself,” he said. “Her record will show that. Her record in and of itself should defeat her.”
Comments by Moore County NAACP President O’Linda Gillis preceded Aiken’s speech when she stressed that the NAACP was a nonpartisan organization.
“We don’t endorse or support any political party,” she said. “When Mr. Aiken’s representatives contacted us and asked if he could speak to us, we also contacted Ms. Ellmers to invite her to speak as well. We received an email saying that she could not come, and although we asked for an alternative date, nothing was mentioned in the email.
“We will continue to reach out to her in follow-up communications.”
Aiken won the Democratic primary held on May 6, 2014, and will face Ellmers in the general election on Nov. 4, 2014.
I am glad that Clay had the opportunity to speak with the NAACP on Tuesday. It sounds like Clay had lots to share and with the group. He is always prepared and articulate and he speaks from his heart! I hope you will click on the article at The Pilot. It is important that the Pilot and the writer know that their support of Clay is appreciated and noticed. You can read the entire article at the
What a full and exciting day for Clay, his team and his supporters. Clay answered some interesting questions. He sounded prepared, reasonable and seemed to be finding the middle ground as he worked to represent the people of his district.
I look forward to many more days like this as Clay shows that he is ready to be the representative of district 2 – North Carolina! Washington D.C. – are you ready?
What do you think?