2014-02-05T143908Z_1_CBREA1414PA00_RTROPTP_2_USA-AIKEN

'American Idol' singer Clay Aiken to run for Congress in North Carolina

File photo of Clay Aiken arriving at the 2005 Primetime Emmy Awards in Los AngelesWINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) – Former “American Idol” singer Clay Aiken said on Wednesday he will run for U.S. Congress as a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina, where he once worked as a special education teacher. Aiken, 35, is likely to face a tough battle in his efforts to unseat Republican Representative Renee Ellmers in the state’s conservative 2nd congressional district. He filmed the video in a small North Carolina home where he said he and his mother slept for months on a mattress in a friend’s living room when he was young. He noted his work teaching children with autism and his international travels with aid organization UNICEF, bookends to his runner-up finish in 2003 on the “American Idol” television talent show that thrust him into the national spotlight.

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