(CelebrityAccess) – Clay Aiken, best known for his time on American Idol, has announced he’s running for Congress in North Carolina (NC), again. The openly gay Aiken, who came out after announcing his son’s birth with music producer and friend, Jaymes Foster in 2008 cites increased racism and homophobia as the reason to enter the race.
The 43-year-old Aiken is looking to become the first openly gay congressional member to represent NC. The previous seat holder, US Rep. David Price announced his retirement in October. Running as a Democrat, Aiken posted on Twitter, “If the loudest and most hateful voices think they are going to speak for us, just tell them I’m warming up the old vocal chords.” It will be the second warm-up exercise for Aiken who ran for NC’s 2nd District seat back in 2014 and lost to Republican incumbent, Rep. Renee Ellmers. Aiken will be running in the 6th District for the upcoming election, which is newly drawn for the state and includes Durham and Orange counties. However, district boundaries could shift if a court orders a redrawn map due to a pending lawsuit contesting the newly drawn districts.
The front page of his official campaign website hints at what Aiken would like to accomplish if he should win the seat. It reads, Clay is a strong Democrat running for Congress to give a voice to those who want to bring sanity and civility back to the political conversation. He knows he can’t change Washington by himself. But he has also learned that he has a voice that makes people listen, and he’ll use it for the people of North Carolina’s 6th District to deliver on needed progressive policies – from stopping climate change, systemic racism, income inequality and gun violence, to securing voting rights, free health care, and a woman’s right to choose. Congress is a disaster – it’s time to send a new voice.
In a video on his website, Aiken sits in a white room with two rainbow flags draped behind him. On the flags are images of US Rep. Madison Cawthorn and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. The first Aiken labeled a “white nationalist” while saving “hateful homophobe” for the Lt. Gov. Aiken sits in front of their images, “Just think how excited these guys are going to be when we elect the South’s first gay congressman.” You can listen to more of Aiken’s political views on his weekly podcast, “How the Heck are we Gonna Get Along”, where he discusses social issues with some of the “sharpest, funniest, and most innovative minds in politics.” You can view Aiken’s video below.