Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Entertainer Clay Aiken Tosses Hat Into Democratic Ring In N.C.

WASHINGTON (UPI) — “American Idol” finalist Clay Aiken announced Wednesday he will seek the Democratic nod to challenge Republican Representative Renee Ellmers in North Carolina.

In a video posted on his new campaign website and in an interview with the (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer Tuesday, Aiken says his personal story — growing up amid domestic violence — inspired him to be a voice for the powerless.

Besides being a hugely popular entertainer, Aiken taught special education students in Wake County and worked with UNICEF. After months of exploring whether to dip into politics, he decided to put his entertainment career on hiatus.

“I saw this as the best place I could serve, because I think Washington, in general, is dysfunctional,” Aiken told the News & Observer. “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.”

While he didn’t win “American Idol” in 2003, his appearance led to several bestselling albums, other TV appearances and a role in the Broadway play “Spamalot.”

Aiken, 35, said jobs and the economy are major themes for his campaign, stressing education as a way to get return people to payrolls.

He said he would press Ellmers to explain her voting record that included cuts in 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.”

In 2008, Aiken publicly declared he was gay, and he and his partner have a son.

Aiken said Tuesday he doesn’t think being gay would be an issue with voters.

“People care about jobs, they care about the economy, they care about being able to pay for college,” he told the News & Observer. “That [his sexuality] is an issue that doesn’t affect many people in this district or this state.”

Ellmers’ campaign staff, however, used Aiken’s sexual orientation when assessing the potential Democratic field.

“It speaks volumes to the state of the N.C. Democratic Party that the primary is shaping up to be a choice between the failed [former Governor Beverly] Perdue administration’s Keith Crisco … an activist [Toni Morris] who’s own party rejected her in the last Democrat primary — and Aiken, a performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San Francisco,” spokeswoman Jessica Wood wrote in an email to the Raleigh newspaper. “Renee best represents the values of the voters in the 2nd District and remains focused on fighting for their families.”

Ellmers faces a challenge from the right in the Republican primary from investor and radio talk show host Frank Roche of Cary.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Entertainer Clay Aiken Tosses Hat Into Democratic Ring In N.C.”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.