Is American Idol mainstay Clay Aiken considering a shift from singing to politics?
MSNBC reports that the Idol runner-up is seriously considering running for a seat in U.S. Congress.
The rumour began with a report in the LGBT publication The Washington Blade, which suggested that Aiken could be running for a seat in the U.S. House to represent North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.
A source for the Blade said Aiken had already met with political operatives and pollsters to help him devise a possible Congress campaign. Aiken has until Feb. 28 to decide if he wants to pursue the seat.
If it happens – and so far Aiken has neither confirmed or denied the rumour on Twitter – he’ll probably face a Democratic primary challenge from former North Carolina commerce secretary Keith Crisco.
The coveted 2nd District seat has been held by Representative Renee Ellmers, a Republican, since 2011.
Ellmers, you may recall, came into the spotlight last October following reports that a rifle was stolen from her unlocked garage. Ellmers has also repeatedly spoke out against the controversial Affordable Care Act, which she’s referred to as an example of the Obama administration’s “war on women.”
Aiken, meanwhile, is best known for his breakout appearance on the second season of American Idol in 2003. Since then, he has released seven albums, competed on The Celebrity Apprentice and made his Broadway debut in 2008.
More recently, Aiken has appeared before Congress to urge them to pass bills that would protect LGBT students from bullying.
And it’s pretty clear that Aiken harbours some political ambitions. Born and raised in Raleigh, N.C., he spoke of his ambitions to become governor of the state in a 2012 interview.
“When I was in eighth grade, we had to do a project where we interviewed somebody we admired and wrote a paper about them,” he told the Charlotte Observer. “Everybody did [theirs on] a parent or their youth pastor or someone close to them. I called [the late U.S. Senator, D-N.C.] Terry Sanford’s office in Raleigh and went and interviewed Terry Sanford.”
As they say in show business, break a leg, kid.