'American Idol' runner-up Clay Aiken mulls bid to represent North Carolina in House

According to Democratic sources familiar with his plans, former American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is seriously considering a bid to represent North Carolina's 2nd congressional district in the House.

The sources spoke to The Washington Blade anonymously, but they claim that he's contacted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to gauge their interest in his potential run. He has also reportedly been working with a Democratic strategist who has worked with former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and on Al Gore's presidential candidacy. Another Democratic source claims that Aiken spoke to pollsters at Heart Research Association in Washington, D.C. last month.

The seat is currently occupied by Republican Renee Ellmers, and she is expected to be favored no matter who the Democratic candidate is. Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco is also contemplating challenging Representative Ellmers.

The seat had been controlled by Democrats prior to the Republicans winning it in 2010, and because of its history, is considered by many to be a "winnable seat." The filing deadline for the primary is February 28, with the primary itself scheduled for May 6.

Although Aikens is best known for his star turn on American Idol, in later years he has used his celebrity to call attention to causes he believes in, including the National Inclusion Project and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

["American Idol runnerup Clay Aiken performs at the Hammerstein Ballroom during their Timeless Tour on August 11, 2010 in New York City" on Shutterstock]