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Clay Aiken wins N.C. Democratic primary

The 'American Idol' alum will face an uphill battle in his campaign to unseat Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-NC, in a district that voted for Romney.
By Gabrielle Levy   |   May 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM

WASHINGTON, May 13 (UPI) -- Clay Aiken has been declared the official winner of his primary election for Congress in North Carolina, pending certification of the final votes.

Aiken, running as a Democrat for the 2nd District seat currently occupied by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-NC, gained about 400 votes between last week's initial count and Tuesday's tally. With 11,678 votes, the American Idol alum earned 40.86 percent, followed by former state Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco, with 39.49 percent, and Toni Morris, with 19.65 percent.

Crisco, 71, died suddenly on Monday after suffering injuries from a fall at his home in in Asheboro. His campaign said he had been preparing to concede the race at the time of his death.

Aiken has suspended campaign activities out of respect for Crisco's family.

He will face Ellmers, who easily dispatched her primary opponent Frank Roche by a 16-point margin in November's election. The district, which leans Republican, gave Mitt Romney 57 percent of the vote in 2012.

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