American Idol alum Clay Aiken has lost his bid to represent North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District.

With 100 percent of districts reporting, Aiken trailed Rep. Renee Ellmers by more than 36,000 votes. Voters returned Ellmers, a Republican and a Tea Party favorite, to Congress for a third time.

Ellmers serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and as chairwoman of the Republican Women's Policy Committee.

Aiken, 35, narrowly won the Democratic nomination in May.

Aiken, who came out gay in 2008, five years after his second-place Idol finish, on the cover of People magazine, said that frustration over dysfunction in Washington was behind his decision to run for Congress.

“I took this upon myself about a year ago after getting really frustrated with some of the dysfunction in Washington,” Aiken told CNN. “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.”

According to ABC affiliate WTVD, Aiken's campaign bus broke down on Election Day as it left a polling station. The bus had to be towed off the road.