Singer Clay Aiken on Wednesday
announced his bid for Congress as a Democrat.
Aiken, an American Idol alum, is
looking to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican who represents
North Carolina's 2nd congressional district in the U.S.
In a video posted on YouTube, Aiken
discusses his personal story, stressing a difficult childhood and his
mother's determination to protect him from his violent father.
“I'm not a politician. I don't ever
want to be one. But I do want to help bring back – at least to my
corner of North Carolina – the idea that someone can go to
Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or
not,”Aiken says in the nearly 5 minute video. (The video is
embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
Aiken reiterated his reasoning in
remarks to The
News & Observer.
“I saw this as the best place I could
serve, because I think Washington, in general, is dysfunctional,”
Aiken said. “I think it's high time we put people in Congress who
were not beholden to their party, and not beholden to anything but
the people who they live around and grew up around, in my case.”
The 35-year-old Aiken came out gay on
the cover of People magazine in 2008, five years after his
second-place finish on Fox's American Idol. He said he did
not believe his sexual orientation would be an issue.
“People care about jobs, they care
about the economy, they care about being able to pay for college,”
he said. “That [being gay] is an issue that doesn't affect many
people in this district or state.”
Ellmers, a Tea Party favorite, reacted
earlier this week to the news that Aiken was considering entering the
race. “Apparently his performing career isn't going so well and
he's bored,” she told a Washington radio station.
Aiken is currently raising one son,
Parker Foster Aiken.