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. House.

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.