'American Idol' Alum Clay Aiken Running for Congress Again in North Carolina

'American Idol' Alum Clay Aiken Running for Congress Again in North Carolina

Former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken is once again running for Congress, throwing his hat in the ring as a Democrat for North Carolina’s proposed 6th district, which is expected to be heavily left-leaning.

Clay Aiken, who is aiming to succeed retiring Rep. David Price (D-NC), announced his bid Monday in a video posted to his social media accounts. In the video, he pledged to promote progressive values, including addressing “systemic racism,” ending “gun violence,” and tackling “climate change.”

He also attacked Republican members of Congress, smearing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) as a “white nationalist.”

Can you believe it's been almost 20 years since I first got to share my voice with you? That's a long time. A LOT has changed!

We need powerful voices more than ever, so I'm running for Congress.

And my voice is even stronger now! ;-) #JoinTheChorushttps://t.co/aQIm8a2xuZpic.twitter.com/xBtN2CYF30

— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) January 10, 2022

Aiken, who is openly gay, played down his celebrity persona and pitched himself as an ordinary citizen.

“These days, my life looks a lot more like yours than Justin Bieber’s,” he said. “But one thing that has never changed is how much I love my home state.”

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Aiken said progressives have lost ground in North Carolina in recent years, citing the “voter suppression” and the “bigoted” transgender bathroom laws. In the video, he also cited prominent House GOP lawmakers Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO).

“As Democrats we have got to get better about speaking up and using our voices, ’cause those folks ain’t quieting down any time soon,” he said.

He described progressive Democrats as “level-headed, open-minded, and compassionate.”

Aiken first ran for Congress in 2014 but was defeated in the general election by Republican Renee Ellmers. His unsuccessful run spawned a reality docu-series that prompted some of his donors to reportedly say they felt duped.

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David Ng