A little star power has been added to a congressional race. Entertainer Clay Aiken is now officially a candidate in the race for North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. This seat is currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers. If Aiken is able to win the nomination over two fellow Democrats, political observers say it would be a hard seat to turn blue. Aiken says he is ready for the fight.
“People become too apathetic too often,” said Aiken. “I think because they recognize that their congressman or congresswoman is safe and nothing is going to get done. They don’t get held accountable for the things they have done, the votes they’ve cast and the things they’ve spoken about.”
Aiken’s entrance into the race adds excitement to North Carolina’s mid-term elections. He has a celebrity following, is showing some political know how and already proving he can bring in some big bucks.
But the money coming into this race is expected to be minimal when compared to North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race. There are about a dozen candidates that are vying for the seat, and outside interest groups are already pouring dollars in.
“This is going to be a story through the rest of the year,” said Andrew Taylor for NC State University. “Right through November. That North Carolinians should expect to see a lot of ads, get a lot of direct mail, get a lot of robo-calls in this race.”
And with the clock winding down on filing for 2014, campaigning is expected to start ramping up quickly for the May primary. But with just hours to go, it looks like campaigning could be light for races in the state House and Senate, where many candidates look to be facing no opposition.
“We’re down to 10 maybe 12, 15 total competitive General Assembly races,” said David McLennan with William Peace University. “Even with retirements and that sort of thing. So for a Republican leaning district, Democrats have done the math and said it doesn’t make sense for us to put the resources behind a serious candidate for that district.”
North Carolina filing ends at noon on Friday.