Former “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken officially launched his congressional campaign on Wednesday.
Aiken released a web video that describes his difficult upbringing and lays out the reasons he’s running in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district, a seat currently held by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
Rumors that Aiken was exploring a bid floated around last month, and Ellmers spoke publicly about the potential challenge.
“Apparently his performing career isn’t going so well and he’s bored,” Ellmers told a local radio station. “As we know he doesn’t always fare all that well. He was runner up.”
Aiken said in the video that he believes Ellmers went to Washington with “good intentions,” but criticized her votes for the government shutdown and cuts to the military.
“This is what’s wrong with Washington, that a congresswoman would go there and vote against the best interests of North Carolina military families, and those who depend on the military for their jobs,” he said. “To do it when you know it’s wrong is even worse, and to do it because your national party told you to, well that’s what in the end convinced me that if I didn’t try to do something about it, then I couldn’t complain that no one else did.”
“I’m not a politician,” he added. “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.”