Clay Aiken to run for Congress

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Clay Aiken

CARY, N.C. — Singer Clay Aiken announced Wednesday that he is running for Congress.

The former American Idol contestant says on his website that he’s running for Congress “to help people in need and give them a voice.”

Aiken announced his candidacy in a YouTube video, saying, “For most Americans, there are no golden tickets. At least not like the kind you see on TV. More families are struggling today than at any time in our history. And here in North Carolina, we’ve suffered more than our share of pain.”

He will be running as a Democrat for North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, which is currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers.

In the video, Clay talks about growing up in North Carolina and his work as a special-education teacher for students with autism. He also founded the National Inclusion Project that serves children with special needs in North Carolina and 34 other states.

Aiken was raised and attended public schools in Wake County where he was also a YMCA counselor and special-education teacher. He earned a degree in special education at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

According to WTVD, North Carolina businessman Houston Barnes is also expected to publicly announce Wednesday that he is withdrawing his candidacy and will endorse Aiken.

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