WASHINGTON – Former “American Idol” and “Celebrity Apprentice” runner-up Clay Aiken says he hopes his voice will be heard — but not in an entertainment sphere.
Aiken says he has no motivation to become a career politician despite the announcement that he will run for Congress in his native North Carolina.
“I want to do it because I’m tired of what I’m seeing and I want that to change,” Aiken said on WTOP Friday.
On Wednesday, 35-year-old Aiken announced he would seek the Democratic nomination for the 2nd Congressional District seat currently held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Aiken, who is running in a primarily Republican district, says “people vote for the people who we know are going to do the best for us.” He adds that Ellmers is not serving the district well.
Aiken says he is hoping to bring clarity to a dysfunctional Washington and says voters should consider him over a more traditional politician.
“Listen, I think that certain inanimate objects could represent people better than some of the representation we have now,” Aiken said.
Aiken finished as the runner-up in the 2003 “American Idol” season behind Ruben Studdard, who has given him “a lot of support.”
Aiken is expected to face former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco of Asheboro and licensed professional counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville in the Democratic primary in May. Another Democratic hopeful — Houston Barnes of Durham — gave up his bid Wednesday and threw his weight to Aiken.
Official candidate filing begins next week.
Listen to the entire interview with Aiken to the right.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.