Report: Clay Aiken’s Opponent In Still-Contested House Primary Dies


Congressional candidate Keith Crisco, who had been running in a North Carolina Democratic primary against American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, died suddenly on Monday, according to a local newspaper report.

Crisco reportedly suffered injuries from falling at around 1 p.m. at his home in Asheboro, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune. Crisco was found dead when emergency personnel arrived.

Crisco had run against Aiken in the Democratic primary for Rep. Renee Ellmers’s (R-NC) seat.

Their race had been too close to call after the primary election night last week. Aiken’s and Crisco’s campaign had both been waiting on canvassing results set to be released on Tuesday before deciding on what to do next in the primary. Aiken had been leading by a tiny 369 votes.

In a statement Aiken said he was suspending campaign activities:

I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death. Keith came from humble beginnings. No matter how high he rose – to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor’s Cabinet – he never forgot where he came from.

He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him.

I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends.

This post was updated.