Primary featuring Clay Aiken too close to call

Posted May 7, 2014

— The Democratic congressional primary race between former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken and textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco remained very close and without a clear winner.

Aiken and Crisco each had about 40 percent of the vote, trailed by licensed family counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville in Tuesday's primary race in the 2nd Congressional District.

Crisco noted in a statement Wednesday that fewer than 400 votes separate him and Aiken and said he and his supporters will watch as county elections boards complete their canvassing in the coming days.

"This election is still very tight. I want the elections officials to have an opportunity to tally the votes and provide a report on their canvass activities to allow all the campaigns a chance to see the final numbers,” he said. “This has been a great campaign, and I am very appreciative of my supporters and the hard work that the county boards of elections are doing at this time.”

Aiken's first political campaign drew an unusual amount of celebrity buzz, thanks to his singing career and a second-place finish on "Celebrity Apprentice." Crisco spent four years as the state's top business recruiter under former Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The primary winner will challenge incumbent Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers in November. Ellmers, first elected in the 2010 tea party wave, handily defeated her challenger in the heavily Republican district.

“I am deeply grateful to the thousands of people who responded to our campaign to change the tone of politics and give the people of the Second District the representation they deserve in Washington," Aiken said in a statement. "This was a very close contest, and as we continue to count the votes, we are more and more excited about our campaign’s ability to move forward and be victorious in November.”

Aiken has said reporters are the only people asking whether being a gay man could impede his campaign to represent such a conservative district. Both he and Crisco touted themselves as centrists.

"We need to stay out of people's bedrooms," Bob Finch, a 57-year-old Democrat from Lee County, said Tuesday.


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  • Raleigh Rocks 1 May 7, 2014

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    Golden, since you continue to spey hate against someone who disagrees with your gimme gimme belief system, I will continue to put the focus on where it really should be and the Reason whoever wins the democrat nod will not go further.

    Obamacare, knowingly sold on a bunch of lies by Hagen and Obama. Hagen rode in on Obamas coat tails, and now she will be riding off into the sunset with him. Ellmers will win, riding on if nothing else but the republican shalacking that is about to take place. JMO

  • Hope Lives May 7, 2014
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    I find it laughable that people still believe W had "no experience". At least he was the GOVERNOR of Texas! Not like "Dear Leader" who had NO experience in ANYTHING except "community organizing" and serving a term in the Senate where he voted "Present" the majority of the time instead of actually taking a position and voting for it!

    It's been SIX YEARS since W....time is overdue to MOVE ON!

    I applaud Clay for running if this is what he genuinely wants to do, we don't really need more "career politicians"....that's our problem now! I would not support or vote for Clay because other than helping special needs kids, I haven't really seen anything else of substance from him. I think helping special needs kids can be done better through organizations and non-profits and such, I don't think government is the right place if that's your ultimate reason for serving.

  • goldenosprey May 7, 2014

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    That would make him less of a good candidate than Ellmers how? She doesn't know anything about legislating, and her political philosophy is a reactionary toxic stew of watery tea, gun culture and establishment repub platitudes. She has accomplished nothing. She doesn't have the leadership gravitas to spearhead meaningful legislation. Just another Koch/ALEC drone.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 May 7, 2014

    In Wake County, basically west of hwy. 55 and the Prestonwood area voted for Clay. Man up folks! I mean, I like clay but hes not ready.

  • glarg May 7, 2014

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    It will be the out of state nuts who poured money into Stephen Cobert's sisters losing campaign. I'm sure MSNBC will cover it breathlessly- too bad Ronan Farrow is off the air or we could have had his insight.

    The reality is that he really doesnt know anything legislating and his political philosophy is poorly thought out leftist feel good swill so he will accomplish nothing. He isnt a big enough celebrity to pull in support for any legislation he might offer.

    So basically he'll just be another Pelosi drone.

  • Richard Wood May 7, 2014
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    This should make for an interesting November. I'm glad I'm voting for Elmers.

  • chuckbiscuits May 7, 2014

    So pretty much the same thing Christians and wannabe Christian mullahs have been doing for years: pushing low priority social issues and proselytizing from the halls of government instead of working on economic issues.
    I'll take gay marriage and equal rights, since once those issues are resolved, to don't have to deal with them anymore.

  • teleman60 May 7, 2014

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    Your ignorance is disgusting. Aiken has been a Special Ed teacher, started foundations to help special needs kids all over the country.

    Elmers is a self professed tea party nut who showed her true colors shutting down the govt - costing $24 billion in lost productivity and wages for thousands of Americans BUT SHE NEEDED HER CHECK!

    She displayed total ignorance every time she talks about ANYTHING!

    Aiken has shown by his actions his dedication to service to others.

    All you seem to know is, well, NOTHING AT ALL and that's typical from what you say.

  • goldenosprey May 7, 2014

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    In what century do YOU live? Clearly not the 21st.

    This is textbook conservative fear gene at work. Beware of Those People! They are not like us! They will turn this country into something terrifying!

    Heh heh. Better grab your rifles, patriots. That is, if you didn't leave them unsecured in an open garage to get stolen.

  • Olenc Native May 7, 2014
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    Man, you keep telling that story to anyone who will listening. Maybe he was just busy that day.