Clay Aiken performs a special one night only concert at the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center Friday, March 12, 2010, in Raleigh, N.C.

Watch Clay Aiken’s Campaign Announcement Video

The 'American Idol' alum nicely needles his opponent.

Clay Aiken performs a special one night only concert at the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center Friday, March 12, 2010, in Raleigh, N.C.

"American Idol" runner up Clay Aiken, seen here performing in 2010, has announced his bid for the 2nd Congressional District of North Carolina. 

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In a nearly five-minute video, “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken announced Wednesday why he’s running for Congress. Aiken will run as a Democrat in his home state of North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, most likely against Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C.

In the video, Aiken first sets the scene. He makes his case in a family friend’s home, where he and his mother escaped his abusive father during his youth.

[READ: Clay Aiken May Run for Congress

“My father could be a violent man who would get drunk and angry and decided that mom was the reason for the pain in his life,” Aiken says.

Later in the spot, Aiken, keeping his tone pleasant, needles Ellmers for voting for last fall’s government shutdown.

“She did. Twenty-one times. Even though she said herself it would be a disaster for the economy,” Aiken states. “And then she complained that she needed her paycheck.”


Aiken, who is openly gay, may have a tough road to Washington, as that North Carolina congressional district is fairly conservative. Still, a Democrat, Bob Etheridge, held the seat until losing to Ellmers in 2010.