Clay Aiken wins North Carolina House primary
By: Tarini Parti
May 13, 2014 02:31 PM EDT
“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken was declared the winner of his tight House Democratic primary in North Carolina on Tuesday, a day after his opponent suddenly died.
Aiken and Keith Crisco had been vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) She is favored to keep the seat.
Aiken was leading Crisco by fewer than 400 votes, and both candidates had been hovering around the 40-percent mark needed to avoid a runoff.
The 71-year-old Crisco died Monday after suffering from injuries from a fall. Aiken’s team said they’d received word he’d been planning to concede Tuesday.
The singer ended up getting 40.86 percent of the vote, while Crisco received 39.49 percent, according to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, which issued the final tally Tuesday after canvassing the votes from each county within the district and counting provisional and absentee ballots.
Crisco’s death shocked those involved in the race, and Aiken on Monday suspended all campaign activities as a result.
In a statement, Aiken, 35, praised his fellow Democrat as “a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him.”