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American Idol Star Clay Aiken Announces Run For Congress In North Carolina

Submitted by on February 7, 2014 – 10:57 amNo Comment
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Clay Aiken may have been the runner-up on the second season of American Idol (he lost to Ruben Studdard) and the runner-up on the last season of Celebrity Apprentice (he lost to Arsenio Hall), but the 35-year-old is hoping the third time will be the charm. This week, Aiken announced that he will be running as a Democratic candidate for a U.S. Congressional seat in his home state of North Carolina.

“If you only know the part of my story that begins with a golden ticket, something that still seems unbelievable to me even to this day, you might wonder what would qualify me to run,” Aiken said in the video announcing his candidacy. “Well, it starts with a life I remember all too well.”

The almost 5-minute clip was filmed in a small North Carolina home where Aiken said he and his mother slept on a mattress after fleeing the hands  of his abusive alcoholic father. The ability to overcome a difficult childhood, along with his past work with UNICEF and teaching children with autism, are among the qualities Aiken says would make him a better choice than current second-term Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers. Although Aiken believes Ellmers has good intentions, her actions show that she is not fully supportive of military families.

“This is what’s wrong with Washington—that a congresswoman would go there and vote against the best interests of North Carolina military families, and those who depend on the military for their jobs,” Aiken said. “To do it when you know it’s wrong is even worse. And to do it because your national party told you to, that’s what convinced me, in the end, that if I didn’t try to do something about it, then I couldn’t complain if no one else did. I’m not a politician. I don’t ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back, at least to my corner of Washington, the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not, and maybe we can play a small part in igniting that change across the rest of our country.”

Watch Aiken’s full campaign video below. Do you think Clay can finally win this contest or is he destined to be a runner-up once more?

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