American Idol star Clay Aiken wants to represent the Triangle as he runs for a North Carolina seat in Congress.
According to his Twitter page and campaign website, Aiken, 43, is running for the state’s newly redrawn 6th Congressional District seat, which represents Orange and Durham counties but could change again depending on the results of a lawsuit contesting the new map.
If Aiken wins the seat, he will replace Rep. David Price, who announced his retirement in October.
The Democrat’s website claims “Congress is a disaster” and indicates Aiken will use his voice “to deliver on needed progressive policies – from stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality and gun violence, to securing voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose.”
Aiken, a Raleigh native and former teacher, previously ran for Congress in 2014 but conceded to Renee Ellmers for the 2nd Congressional District seat.
Before appearing on American Idol in 2003, he taught special education. Although Aiken lost American Idol to Ruben Studdard, he became a household name in North Carolina and across the country, releasing multiple albums and using his fame to bring awareness to multiple social and political issues.
He founded The National Inclusion Project to help children with special needs and advocated for humanitarian efforts in war-torn and tragedy-stricken countries on behalf of UNICEF as a National Goodwill Ambassador, according to his website.