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Clay Aiken’s Congressional Opponent Dies Days After Election Day

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(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

By Kevin Rutherford

Update: Aiken has issued a statement on Crisco’s death, reports Mashable. “He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant,” Aiken said of his opponent.

Clay Aiken‘s competitor in his bid for the Democratic Party Congressional nomination has been found dead.

Keith Crisco, 71, died at his home from injuries sustained in a fall, CBS Charlotte reports. He was a local business owner in Asheboro, North Carolina, who founded an elastics company and had served on the local city council.

Related: Clay Aiken Officially Announces He’s Running for Congress

His death comes just days after voting for his bid for Congress ended inconclusively. Crisco and Aiken, a former runner-up on American Idol, were locked in a close battle that was too close to call as polls closed last Tuesday (May 6).

Aiken reportedly held a 369-vote lead after the final ballot was counted, a close-enough margin that could have led to a recount.

Both men had been awaiting a ruling tomorrow (May 13) that would provide a clearer picture of how to proceed. Crisco had vowed he would not yet concede in the election despite being slotted behind Aiken in the final tally.

The winner of the primary would go on to face Rep. Renee Ellmers for the seat in Washington. Ellmers is a Republican.

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