Clay Aiken—yes, this Clay Aiken—is running for Congress in North Carolina, his campaign announced. The former American Idol runner-up is running as a Democrat and hoping to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican.
Aiken touted his credentials as a special-education teacher who has used his fame to help children. He also attacked Ellmers, elected in 2010, for her votes during the government shutdown. “This is what’s wrong with Washington,” he said in his campaign video. “That a congresswoman would go [to Washington] and vote against the best interests of North Carolina military families and those who depend on the military for their jobs. To do it when you know it’s wrong is even worse.”
And Ellmers? She attacked Aiken before he even jumped in the race, saying on WMAL on Monday that Aiken couldn’t even win American Idol or Celebrity Apprentice. “As we know, he doesn’t always fare all that well,” she said. “He was runner-up.”
“I guess we don’t have a very high approval rating, so I guess the bar has been lowered for him,” she added.