American Idol star Clay Aiken brought national attention to a packed congressional race in the Triangle after visiting ABC’s “The View” Wednesday morning to talk about his own bid for public office.
The Democratic candidate’s 10 minute interview included his thoughts on former President Donald Trump, Tuesday’s ruling on the political gerrymandering of North Carolina’s congressional maps and what it means to Aiken to potentially be the first openly gay person to be elected to Congress from the South.
“I’m proud of that,” Aiken said. “But it is surprising to me how underrepresented LGBT people are in Congress still, and I am thrilled to just even think about the possibility that we could add more to them and to do so from a Southern state.”
Aiken announced Monday his plan to run in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. The district encompasses Durham and Orange counties plus parts of western Wake County including Apex, Morrisville, most of Cary and a sliver of Raleigh. He’s one of at least eight people hoping to win the Democratic nomination on May 17.
Aiken was questioned during Wednesday’s show about his lack of experience and how that stacks up against two of his opponents, state Sens. Valerie Foushee and Wiley Nickel.
“What is experience, right?” Aiken answered. “The people in Congress have lots of political experience and we see what the hell has happened there.
“That’s one thing, but I also think that Congress, the House, is set up to represent a whole bunch of different views, and experience isn’t just politics, and coming back to that, then it’s kind of not a selling point for a lot of people.”
This is Aiken’s second congressional campaign. He ran against former Rep. Renee Ellmers and lost. Aiken said on Wednesday’s show his purpose in running in 2014 was to point out “unfair” gerrymandering, and that that has already popped up in the 2022 election.
Friendship with McCain
Aiken hadn’t appeared on “The View” yet before the race had already fired up one of the show’s former hosts, Meghan McCain.
The Republican considers Aiken among her closest friends and retweeted his social media announcement Monday, celebrating his run and their friendship.
One of Aiken’s opponents, Nida Allam, retweeted…