Aiken wins Democratic nomination day after opponent dies

 

Clay Aiken has officially won the Democratic nomination for Congress, just a day after his opponent in the too close to call primary passed away. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The former American Idol star won by just 390 votes, but topped the 40 percent necessary to avoid a runoff. 

But Aiken's win is bittersweet-- his Democratic primary opponent, Keith Crisco, died suddenly on Monday. Crisco, the state's former commerce secretary, had reportedly planned on conceding Tuesday morning, but he died after falling at his home in the early afternoon on Monday. 

The latest results will only become official after the state elections board reviews them. Elections board spokesman Joshua Lawson told the AP the meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 22.

Aiken announced late Monday that he would suspend all campaign activities to allow for time to grieve and pray for Crisco.

The two candidates had been running for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.). The district, however, is largely conservative. Mitt Romney carried it by 16 percentage points in 2012.

Crisco outspent Aiken during the primary campaign by a wide margin after self-funding most of it.