Clay Aiken Officially Wins Primary Campaign After Full Count

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 13 2014 12:29 PM ET

UPDATE: Clay Aiken was officially named the winner of a Democratic primary for Congress in North Carolina, the day after his chief opponent, Keith Crisco, had suddenly died, the Associated Press reports. 

According to the official count, Aiken won the required 40 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff election later this year. The primary tally was so close as of Monday with 369 votes separating the two, that it was unclear as to whether a runoff would be necessary.

The openly gay singer will run against Renee Ellmers, a two-term incumbent Republican congresswoman, for the seat in November. Ellmers has a 0 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign's legislative scorecard, as she has supported several pieces of legislation to deny LGBT people the right to marriage, and has not co-sponsored any of the LGBT-supportive rights bills that were introduced into Congress this session.

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Singer Clay Aiken has suspended his primary campaign activities for a congressional seat from North Carolina following the death of his opponent, businessman Keith Crisco.

Crisco, 71, died suddenly at his home in Asheboro, N.C., on Monday, after taking a fall. Aiken said he was "stunned and deeply saddened" by Crisco's death.

"He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him," Aiken said in a statement, according to WBTV News. "I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends."

The Democratic primary for Congress, held last week, was deemed "too close to call" as Crisco trailed Aiken by only 369 votes. The two were awaiting the final word from election officials on the winner.

Crisco initially refused to concede, but political consultant Brad Crone told WBTV News that he was planning to do so.

"At his instruction, I had called Gary Pearce to convey that Keith was going to concede the election tomorrow morning and would be calling Mr. Aiken to congratulate him," Crone said.