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JAN
3
11 MOS

Is 'American Idol' Alum Clay Aiken Running for Congress?

Despite sources telling the Washington Blade that the singer was considering throwing his hat in the ring, he told a North Carolina TV station that he's not interested.

Clay Aiken PR 2012 P
Curtis Brown

Could 2014 be the year we see an American Idol in office? That could be the case following reports that season-two runner-up Clay Aiken is throwing his hat in the ring to run for Congress in his native North Carolina.

The 35-year-old singer is said to be in discussions with some Washington Democratic insiders about running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Washington Blade. However, North Carolina Fox affiliate WRAL's state capitol bureau feed claimed Aiken told one of their producers he was not running.

Sources told the Blade that the Raleigh native is interested in making a bid in the 2nd Congressional District of North Carolina and that he already talked to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as Betsy Conti, a Raleigh-based political strategist who's worked for former North Carolina governor Bev Perdue and Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore. Aiken would be running against Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers.

STORY: The Year in 'American Idol'

The Blade's report indicates that Aiken is quite serious about exploring his chances, claiming that he already met with Hart Research Associates to examine polling data. The deadline for participating in the North Carolina primary is Feb. 28. The primary itself is set for May 6.

Aiken has been highly visible as an activist since his time on Idol. In 2010 he was on the hill on behalf of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, to urge for passage of anti-bullying legislation with LGBT protections, known as the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act. He is also an ambassador for UNICEF.

Professionally, Aiken has had success with the release of his 2003 CD, Measure of a Man, which sold 613,000 copies in its first week of release. The album went double platinum. His Christmas album, Merry Christmas With Love, was the best-selling holiday release of 2004. He also finished second on the 2012 season of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice.

Theatrically, he appeared on Broadway as Sir Robin in Spamalot. This past summer, he starred as Joseph in the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, Maine.

Twitter: @MicheleAmabile