“American Idol” season two runner-up, Clay Aiken, announced that he is running for Congress in North Carolina as a Democrat.
The aging pop star declared his intention to run in the state’s 6th Congressional District in a YouTube video that acknowledged how much he has changed in the twenty years since he competed on “Idol.”
“I came home, I came out, I became a father. These days, my life looks a lot more like yours than Justin Biebers’, that I can promise you,” he explained. “But one thing that’s never changed for me is how much I love my home state. North Carolina is the place that I discovered first that I have a voice and that it was a voice that could be used for more than singing.”
He said that North Carolina was “a progressive beacon in the South” for decades, because “the loudest voices in our government were progressives who actually made sure our state was moving forward.”
Aiken noted that things changed when progressives lost power and the state began adopting “backwards a– policies like the voter suppression bills and the bigoted bathroom bill.”
He said that the loudest voices in North Carolina politics are “white nationalists” like U.S. Rep. Madison and “hateful homophobes” like Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, who he compared to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert.
“These folks are taking up all the oxygen in the room and, I could tell ya, I am sick of it,” he stated. “As democrats, we have got to get better at speaking up and using our voices because those folks ain’t quieting down any time soon. That’s why I am running for Congress, here in this community that raised me and where I first discovered my voice.”
He touted “level-headed, open-minded, and compassionate Democrats” as the party of “all-Americans,” and outlined his campaign policies as “stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality, gun violence” and “securing voting rights, free healthcare and a women’s right to choose.”
Aiken lauded his party as the politicians who will “solve the country’s biggest problems” and “defend our most precious rights.” Then added, “just think how excited” Cawthorne and Robinson would be if he was elected the first gay Congressman in the South.
The former “Idol” launched an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.