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Sources: Clay Aiken prepping congressional bid

Posted January 23, 2014 12:48 p.m. EST
Updated January 23, 2014 7:01 p.m. EST

— Pop singer Clay Aiken is assembling a political team for a run at the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, sources told WRAL News on Thursday.

Aiken, a Raleigh native, is expected to make an official announcement next month, sources said.

Sources said Aiken has talked to Democratic consultants Betsy Conti, Nation Hahn and Gary Pearce about possibly helping with a run for Congress. He also has spoken with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, sources said.

Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and Durham attorney Houston Barnes have already announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination in the 2nd District, which is now held by Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

Ellmers also will face a primary challenge. Conservative talk radio host Frank Roche, of Cary, says she isn't conservative enough to represent the district, which Republican lawmakers redrew in 2011 to be more favorable to GOP candidates.

Aiken was the runner-up on "American Idol" in 2003 and later put out six albums and appeared on Broadway and on reality television. His most noted foray into the political arena came two years ago when he spoke out against North Carolina's constitutional amendment outlawing same-sex marriage.