Singer Clay Aiken said Wednesday that
frustration over dysfunction in Washington is behind his decision to
run for Congress.
Aiken, an American Idol alum,
officially announced in a video posted on YouTube his campaign to
unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican who represents North
Carolina's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House.
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 is currently
raising one son, Parker Foster Aiken.
In an interview with CNN, Aiken
described his reasons for entering the race.
“I took this up on myself about a
year ago after getting really frustrated with some of the dysfunction
in Washington,” Aiken
said. “And being frustrated with the fact that the
representative who now serves me – I had been redistricted into a
different district than I had been in – I didn't believe was
listening to the people. I do believe that she went to Washington
because she wanted to do good for people. But when she got there, in
my opinion, she started listening to leaders in her party, instead of
the people at home.”
Through a spokeswoman, Ellmers, a Tea
Party favorite, shrugged off Aiken's campaign, suggesting his sexual
orientation would give voters a reason to pause.
“It speaks volumes to the state of
the N.C. Democratic Party that the primary is shaping up to be a
choice between the failed Perdue Administration's Keith Crisco, a
lawyer who doesn't even live in the district, an activist who's [sic]
own party rejected her in the last democrat primary – and Aiken, a
performer whose political views more closely resemble those of San
Francisco than Sanford,” the