He came in second place to Ruben Studdard on American Idol Season 2. He came in second to Arsenio Hall in Celebrity Apprentice Season 5. Now singer Clay Aiken hopes to reverse that trend with a run for Congress, according to a video posted on his campaign website.
Running in North Carolina’s second congressional district, Aiken will run as a Democratic candidate hoping to unseat incumbent Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), for whom Aiken offers sharp criticism in the video for her role in the recent government shutdown, among other things. To compensate for his lack of political history (“I’m not a politician; I never want to be,” he admits in the video), Aiken takes the more sentimental route of telling his story, shooting the video in the living room of a friend’s home where his mother brought him as a baby to escape domestic violence at the hands of his father. He also touts his bipartisanship, citing his appointment by President George W. Bush in 2006 to an educational commission for children with special needs, as well as his humanitarian work with UNICEF.
Aiken’s nomination by the Democratic party is far from assured, as he will likely have to compete with other Democratic candidates for the opportunity to run against Ellmers. However, the seated congresswoman has already taken advantage of the recent publicity to take some pot shots, making references in a recent radio interview to Aiken’s record of coming in second, adding that he must be “bored” with his successful music career.
Since his appearance on American Idol, Clay Aiken has released six studio albums, two of which went Platinum. He has also performed on Broadway as Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot.