Clay Aiken Launches Second Bid for Congress in North Carolina


Nearly two decades after rising to fame on “American Idol,” Clay Aiken is taking a second shot at politics — this time in North Carolina’s redrawn Sixth Congressional District.

Aiken, a Democrat, announced his candidacy in a January 10 campaign video, marking his first foray into electoral politics since he dove into the 2014 race for North Carolina’s Second Congressional District — a GOP stronghold. He pulled off a narrow victory in the Democratic primary competition before losing to Republican Renee Ellmers in the general election.

Aiken’s political endeavors represent a departure from the entertainment work on which he built his reputation. He first introduced himself to America in 2003 when he finished behind Ruben Studdard during the second season of “American Idol,” though he subsequently re-appeared in music, television, and on Broadway. He also co-founded National Inclusion Project, a non-profit aimed at helping children with disabilities.