Clay Aiken says his political career is more difficult than 'American Idol'

"We have to get people to see me in a different light," Aiken says of his transition from entertainment to politics.
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |  May 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM
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NEW YORK, May 20 (UPI) -- Clay Aiken says politics is more difficult than American Idol.

The 35-year-old singer-turned-politician sat down with the Today show Tuesday morning to discuss his political career. Aiken was declared the official winner of the Democratic primary election for Congress in North Carolina on May 13.

His recent success did not come easily, and Aiken considers his celebrity status both a blessing and a curse.

"We have to get people to see me in a different light," he tells Today. "It's a blessing in the fact that it gets me in a room, but I have to overcome the fact that people see me in one way and not the other."

The nominee's next challenge is to defeat incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, who has said Aiken entered politics out of boredom and because his "performing career isn't going so well." The star says he's "not naive" to the fact that he must continuously prove himself to voters as a serious candidate.

"It's a mountain to climb," he acknowledges. "But we've had quite a bit of success thus far in the past three months in climbing it."

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