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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
With Rival Dead, Clay Aiken Wins Nomination
Congressional candidate Keith Crisco addresses supporters at Lumina Wine & Beer in Asheboro, North Carolina last week.   (AP Photo/The News & Observer, Robert Willett, File)

(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.

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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. (Read more Clay Aiken stories.)

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