North Carolina native Clay Aiken is looking for a win in Congress. Aiken was the runner up to Ruben Studdard on 2003’s second season of American Idol. The 35 year old has kept active in the music and entertainment industry since then including several albums and TV appearances, but is now mulling a run for a U.S. House seat where 2nd place will not cut it.
In addition to continuing his music and entertainment career, Clay is also an openly gay father which he announced to the world in 2008 on the cover of People magazine while holding his new born son. Beginning as a YMCA counselor, Aiken has been drawn to social causes and has been active in promoting them over the last 10 years.
In 2004, Aiken became involved with UNICEF as an National Ambassador. He was has been sent to Uganda, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Kenya with a goal of ensuring education is being provided to children of those countries.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Aiken to the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The committee, founded by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, advises the president and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services on issues relating to persons with intellectual disabilities.
This would not be Clay’s first trip to Congress as he also lobbied Congress in 2010 as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues during a briefing on two bills would that force schools to address bullying toward LGBT students.
Now, Clay Aiken might have his sights set on a seat in Congress. The house seat for the 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House is currently occupied by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C. It is unclear at this time when Aiken may make a formal announcement for his candidacy. If he runs as a Democrat, he will also be facing off against former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco who has announced his intention to run in the next election.
According to the Washington Blade, Clay has been working with Betsy Conti, a local political strategist who worked with Al Gore as well as North Carolina’s former governor Bev Purdue. Anonymous sources have also indicated that Aiken was in the D.C. area last month to meet with pollsters to gauge his viability as a candidate in his home state.