Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) overpowered Democratic hopeful Clay Aiken on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

Ellmers, who was first elected in the Tea Party surge of 2010, maintained a lead over the American Idol contestant throughout the campaign, though she has also spent heavily.

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The race in the Second District has been one of the most-watched across the country. During the primary season, another Democratic candidate, Keith Crisco, suffered a heart attack and died one day before he officially lost the race.

Aiken, 35, was running in his first bid for office. If elected, he would have been the first openly gay representative from the South.