US: American Idol star Clay Aiken loses bid for congress

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Gay singer-turned-politician Clay Aiken has lost out on his election bid in North Carolina.

The Democrat – who is best known as the runner-up on American Idol’s second season – took the second place spot once more last night, when he was bested by Republican Renee Ellmers.

Mr Aiken came out as gay in 2008, after years of speculation, and has worked with a number of gay rights and anti-bulling groups.

However, he lost out to incumbent Representative Ellmers, who has earned a rating of zero from the Human Rights Campaign for her stance on gay rights across her two previous terms.

The Republican had previously been mocked for her attempts to link Aiken to the less-popular President Barack Obama, referring on a number of occasions to the “Aiken-Obama economy”.

However, with 69% of the votes counted, Ellmers had 57% of the vote, to Aiken’s 43%.

If he had been elected, Mr Aiken would have been the first openly gay Representative from a southern state.

He caused controversy in September when he claimed celebrities who take naked pictures of themselves “deserved” to have them leaked.

He said: “Anybody who takes inappropriate pictures of themselves deserves exactly what they get.

“Of course whoever [stole and released the photos] should be hogtied. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have Internet security right now or the laws in place to protect people from pirating that stuff.”

Aiken found himself in a similar photo scandal in 2007 when a former lover provided the media with compromising pictures of the American Idol star.