May 13, 2014 9:47 am

Clay Aiken’s political opponent dies after fall

RALEIGH, N.C. – Former American Idol singer Clay Aiken appeared headed toward a fall showdown for a congressional seat after the death of the entrepreneur who trailed him narrowly in a too-close-to-call Democratic primary.

Keith Crisco, 71, died Monday after an accidental fall at his home in Asheboro, about 65 miles west of Raleigh, according to a statement from his family.

“He was a remarkable man with a tremendous dedication to his family and to public service,” the statement said.

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

Crisco had been North Carolina’s top business recruiter for four years under former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who left office in 2013.

 

© The Associated Press, 2014

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