“American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken is said to be “actively considering” making a bid for Congress to challenge Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.).
Democratic sources told the Washington Blade that the openly gay Aiken has spoken with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and met with political consultants and pollsters, including one Raleigh, N.C.-based strategist who worked for former North Carolina Gov. Bev Purdue and Al Gore.
One source told the Blade that the 35-year-old Raleigh native is “actively considering” it and “sounding and acting like a candidate.”
Neither Aiken nor the DCCC commented to the Blade.
Aiken would likely have a Democratic primary fight on his hands, with former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco expected to announce his candidacy this month.
Ellmers was part of the tide of Republicans that swept the House of Representatives for control in 2010, but North Carolina’s second district has a long history of being held by Democrats.
Aiken has had a successful music and entertainment career since finishing second on “American Idol” in 2003. He has championed the rights of children with disabilities and traveled around the world as a U.S. ambassador for UNICEF.
After publicly coming out in 2008, Aiken testified on Capitol Hill in 2010 for the passage of anti-bullying legislation aimed at protecting LGBT students.