Clay Aiken's primary opponent dies at his home

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Associated Press

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 10:05 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former "American Idol" singer Clay Aiken appears headed toward a fall showdown for a congressional seat in North Carolina after the death of the entrepreneur who was narrowly trailing him in a too-close-to-call Democratic primary.

A statement from Keith Crisco's family says the 71-year-old candidate died Monday after a fall at his home in Asheboro.

Crisco was trailing Aiken by fewer than 400 votes after the contest last Tuesday. State elections board spokesman Josh Lawson says if enough new votes turn up to make Crisco the winner, local Democrats will select a new nominee. If not, he says Aiken will be the nominee.

The vote is expected to be certified Thursday.

The nominee will face Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in November in the GOP-leaning 2nd Congressional District.

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