Clay Aiken’s opponent in U.S. House of Representatives race found dead


Clay Aiken speaks onstage at the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis on March 28, 2009 in New York City. Video by Getty Videos

Clay Aiken’s opponent in U.S. House of Representatives race found dead

By Phyllis Stark. CREATED May 13, 2014

A close election involving former “American Idol” contestant turned politician Clay Aiken has taken an unexpected and tragic turn. Aiken’s opponent for the Democratic nomination in a United States House of Representatives race, businessman Keith Crisco, has been found dead following an apparent fall in his home. 

According to The Washington Post, Crisco, a former North Carolina Commerce Secretary, “died on Monday, an employee at his company, Asheboro Elastics Corporation, confirmed. Local media reports stated that Crisco died from a fall at his home in Asheboro. He was pronounced dead when emergency responders arrived on the scene, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. He was 71.”
Aiken and Crisco had been vying for the nomination in the state's 2nd congressional district.
As the Post reports, “The contest was without an official winner nearly a week after the primary election. With all precincts reporting the results of last Tuesday's election, Aiken led Crisco by fewer than 400 votes … Crisco did not concede the race, awaiting the results of a final count, including absentee ballots that continued to pour in for days.” Reports say he was planning to concede on Tuesday.
“In a statement, Aiken said he was ‘deeply saddened’ by Crisco's death and called him a ‘good and honorable man,’” the Post reports. Aiken also announced that he was "suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends."​
Crisco and Aiken were vying for a chance to run against Rep. Renee Ellmers (R) in a district that leans Republican, acceding to the Post.
Phyllis Stark

Phyllis Stark

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Phyllis Stark is the Digital Executive Producer - National Content for Scripps Media.