Out singer Clay Aiken has made his bid for a congressional seat in North Carolina official with a video announcement published on YouTube today.
Aiken's notoriety is all-but-certain to shine a national spotlight on the race to represent North Carolina's Second Congressional District. In the first moments of his campaign video, Aiken, 35, says, “I think that Congress is dysfunctional at this point.”
Aiken also admits that he's a Democrat, running for a seat in a traditionally conservative district. But, according to the Raleigh News Observer, "the Second Congressional District is one of the most likely targets for a Democratic victory over a Republican incumbent in 2014."
Aiken's video notes that incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers has been toeing the party line, voting in favor of an incredibly unpopular government shutdown — 21 times — and casting ten votes in favor of spending cuts that adversely affected military and military families, a key constituency in the district. Aiken calls out Ellmers' hypocrisy, noting that after voting for the government shutdown last year, Ellmers "even said she needed to keep getting her Congressional paycheck.”
The video also touches on Aiken's his upbringing in the district, his time as a special education teacher, rise to stardom on the second season of American Idol, and time spent traveling internationally as a UNICEF ambassador, as well as his work as a George W. Bush appointee in a two-year term on the Presidential Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2004.
Watch the official announcement video below.