Former 'American Idol' star Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina, in-state Democrats with knowledge of his plans tell The Hill.

Aiken, a former runner-up on the top-rated show and Raleigh native, plans to run against Rep. Renee EllmersRenee EllmersMark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump The Hill's Morning Report: Koch Network re-evaluating midterm strategy amid frustrations with GOP GOP lawmaker asks woman if she’s gained weight MORE (R-N.C.) in a Republican-leaning district. WRAL first reported the singer was assembling a campaign team and prepping a launch for next month. 


Local Democrats aren't thrilled. They're unhappy they'll now have a primary in the difficult-to-win district and are concerned about voters taking Aiken seriously. Former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and attorney Houston Barnes are also running. 

"I'm disappointed to see what's probably going to be a primary now in what's already a really tough, conservative seat," said one. "There's a candidate already in the race who has a very solid resume. But I guess we're going to hash it out with a primary now. We're not real thrilled."