US: Gay singer Clay Aiken wins Democratic nomination for Congress bid

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Gay former American Idol star Clay Aiken has won a Democratic primary in North Carolina, securing the party’s nomination to run for Congress.

Aiken, 35, was the runner-up in the second season of the talent contest in 2002, and came out in an interview with People magazine in 2008.

He announced in February that he was intending to run for Congress in his home state, referencing the “golden ticket” to fame that most Americans cannot achieve.

Today he was reported the winner of the three-candidate race in the state’s second Congressional District, with more than 40 percent of the vote.

The singer had been leading in the polls, but his closest rival in the race, Keith Crisco, died suddenly yesterday in a freak accident at home.

Aiken will face an uphill battle in November, challenging GOP Tea Party incumbent Renee Ellmers in the strongly Republican – and socially conservative – district.

According to Associated Press, although Aiken has won the primary, his nomination will not be confirmed officially until a meeting on May 22.

Aiken said in February: “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.”

A North Carolina registrar recently pledged to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in defiance of the state’s constitution when he takes up his post later this year.