With Rival Dead, Clay Aiken Wins Nomination

Ex- Idol star comes out ahead in close NC primary

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 14, 2014 12:21 AM CDT

(Newser) – The final results from Clay Aiken's incredibly close race for the Democratic nomination in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District are in and it turns out that the former American Idol singer would have won even if opponent Keith Crisco hadn't died on Monday. Aiken received 40.9% to 39.5% for Crisco, who died after a fall at home, WUNC reports.

Crisco's campaign strategist says the 71-year-old, who was behind by a few hundred votes, had planned to concede the race yesterday. Crisco "was a gentleman, a good and honorable man, and an extraordinary public servant," Aiken said in a statement. "I was honored to know him." Aiken now faces a tough race against Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in a district redrawn by the state's Republican-dominated legislature to make it a GOP stronghold, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Congressional candidate Keith Crisco addresses supporters at Lumina Wine & Beer in Asheboro, North Carolina last week.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett, File)
Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, North Carolina last week.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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