Congressman Clay Aiken?!
A one-time American Idol runner-up could be hanging up his microphone for a future in politics.
Clay Aiken is “actively considering” a bid for Congress in North Carolina’s 2nd District, The Washington Blade reported Thursday. Aiken’s got his eye on the seat currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers, who has decided not to seek re-election later this year.
Aiken, who is openly gay, has been an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community since coming out in 2008. The move to politics, however, would be a new one for the Broadway alum and single dad.
The Blade writes:
“The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the 35-year-old Raleigh native has taken initial steps for a run, including consulting with political operatives in Washington, D.C., about a bid for the seat. One Democratic source said Aiken made phone calls to gauge support, talked to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and has met with figures in Raleigh, N.C., about a potential bid. Although it’s unclear when Aiken might formally announce a decision, the source said Aiken is ‘actively considering’ it and ‘sounding and acting like a candidate.'”
Additionally, Clay has allegedly been working closely with Betsy Conti, a respected political strategist previously retained by Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore.
Aiken has yet to confirm or deny the report, but he still has plenty of time to decide whether or not he wants to enter the race for Rep. Ellmers’ seat. The deadline for filing is Feb. 28. The Democratic primary is scheduled for May.