Clay Aiken Wins Democratic Nomination for Congress in North Carolina

‘American Idol’ runner up Clay Aiken has won the Democratic nomination for Congress in North Carolina, the Associated Press reports.

The county-by-county unofficial tally posted by the state Tuesday of the 2nd Congressional District race confirms Aiken got more than 40 percent needed to win in the three-candidate race. It came a day after his closest rival died suddenly in a home accident.

Aiken was in a close primary race against businessman Keith Crisco, who was found dead on Monday. Authorities said 71-year-old’s death appeared to be from a fall in his home.

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According to The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.:

State elections officials said the situation was highly unusual. The law is clear on what happens if a candidate dies between filing for office and the primary election; and it covers what happens if a candidate dies after the primary but before the general election.

Crisco’s campaign said he had planned before his death to concede the race.

The results of the primary will be official after a review by the state elections board, which has tentatively scheduled a meeting for May 22.

Aiken will face incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in November.