Clay Aiken Congressional Primary Opponent Found Dead

Singer Clay Aiken will presumably be declared the winner of a hotly contested Congressional primary after his opponent, Keith Crisco, was found dead today.

No winner had been designated after last Tuesday’s Democrat primary, although the state board of elections evidently was due to make an announcement tomorrow.

Aiken and Crisco, 71, a highly respected businessman and former state commerce secretary, were virtually neck and neck in the primary voting, but many absentee ballots had not yet been tabulated. Aiken was ahead by about three hundred votes of those counted. A recount probably would have been likely either way it turned out.

Aiken finished second in both American Idol and The Celebrity Apprentice, but would appear to be the winner of the US House primary owing to Crisco’s untimely passing.

Crisco apparently died at his home in Asheboro, N.C. this afternoon. “Information is incomplete; however, early information indicates he suffered injuries from a fall around 1 p.m. at his home… He was reported dead at the scene when emergency workers arrived there.”

Clay Aiken will face Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, the Republican incumbent, in the November general election for North Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Ellmers is favored in the GOP-leaning district, although she recently alienated some of her constituency by coming out in favor of what amounts to amnesty for illegal aliens.

Rep. Ellmers said of Crisco’s passing, “I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God’s blessings for Keith’s family through the coming day. His kindness and dedication to his principles were models we should all strive toward, and he will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Keith’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time.” Aiken noted that he was “stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death” and was putting his campaign on hold “as we pray for his family and friends.”

[image credit: Judy Butler]