'American Idol' Star Clay Aiken Announces Second Run for Congress
By CBS News/Zoe Christen Jones
Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images
Clay Aiken is taking his second shot at a congressional seat, the former American Idol star announced Monday. Aiken will run as a Democrat for North Carolina's sixth congressional district.
Aiken appeared on the second season of reality TV singing competition in 2003, where he finished in second place. Following his run on American Idol, Aiken released several albums and took part in multiple hosting gigs, including a role on the Broadway musical Spamalot and a second place finish on the fifth season of Celebrity Apprentice, before transitioning to activism and politics.
"These days my life looks a lot like yours than Justin Bieber's," Aiken said announcing the news Monday. "But one thing that has never changed for me is how much I love my home state. North Carolina is the place where I first discovered that I had a voice, and it was a voice that could be used for more than singing."
Can you believe it's been almost 20 years since I first got to share my voice with you? That's a long time. A LOT has changed!
We need powerful voices more than ever, so I'm running for Congress.
This will be Aiken's second attempt to win a North Carolina congressional seat. He announced his first bid for Congress in 2014 when he won the Democratic primary but failed to win the general election against Republican incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Aiken said he is running on progressive policies of political civility, including issues like income equality, health care and climate change.
"We, as levelheaded, open minded and compassionate Democrats, we have always been the party of All Americans," Aiken added Monday. "We have always been the big tent and we've got to continue to be that, because from stopping climate change and systemic racism and income inequality and gun violence to securing voting rights and free healthcare and a woman's right to choose, we are the ones who are gonna solve the country's biggest problems."
This article was originally published on CBSNews.com on Jan. 10, 2022.