Primary featuring Clay Aiken too close to call

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
X
May 7, 12:37 AM EDT
By EMERY P. DALESIO


Primary featuring Clay Aiken too close to call
Singer Clay Aiken, seen in Raleigh, N.C., on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, will officially announce his campaign for Congress on Wednesday, injecting a nationally known personality into what has been a quiet Democratic primary to produce a challenger to U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers. (Corey Lowenstein/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Clay Aiken, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina, arrives to vote in Cary, N.C., on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
Clay Aiken, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina, turns in his ballot as election official Rose Waddell watches in Cary, N.C., on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Chris Seward/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - DECEMBER 01: Clay Aiken performs in concert at Trump Taj Mahal on December 1, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall (R), the final two contestants on 'The Celebrity Apprentice', visit the NBC Experience Store on May 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Jude Domski/WireImage)
Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clay Aiken hugs a supporter during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clay Aiken, right, speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during an election night watch party in Holly Springs, N.C., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Aiken is seeking the Democratic nomination for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
This undated image released by Clay Aiken for Congress, shows former “American Idol” runner up Clay Aiken, a candidate in the Democratic Party primary in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Clay Aiken for Congress)
SANFORD, NC - SEP 12: Clay Aiken, who is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, chats with visitors to the Lee Regional Fair while campaigning in Sanford, NC, on Friday, Sep 12, 2014. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LILLINGTON, NC - SEP 12: Clay Aiken, who is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, greets 11-month-old Ella Butler and her father Will Butler at the Butler family's hog farm in Lillington, NC, on Friday, Sep 12, 2014. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
LILLINGTON, NC - SEP 12: Clay Aiken, center, who is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, talks with Tom Butler, owner of Butler Farms in Lillington, NC, on Friday, Sep 12, 2014. Butler's granddaughter Luna Butler, 4, left, leans against a pipe that recycles methane from hog waste back into the local electrical grid. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
SANFORD, NC - SEP 12: Clay Aiken, who is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, chats with a fellow Democrat at a tent run by Lee County Democrats at the Lee Regional Fair in Sanford, NC, on Friday, Sep 12, 2014. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
SANFORD, NC - SEP 12: Clay Aiken, who is running as a Democrat for the US House of Representatives in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, secures a microphone to his collar, preparing for a television news interview while campaigning at the Lee Regional Fair in Sanford, NC, on Friday, Sep 12, 2014. (Photo by Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Democratic congressional primary race between former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken and textile entrepreneur Keith Crisco remained very close and without a clear winner.

Aiken and Crisco each had about 40 percent of the vote, trailed by licensed family counselor Toni Morris of Fayetteville in Tuesday's primary race in the 2nd Congressional District.

Aiken's first political campaign drew an unusual amount of celebrity buzz thanks to his singing career and a second-place finish on "Celebrity Apprentice." Crisco spent four years as the state's top business recruiter under under former Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue.

The primary winner will challenge incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers in November. Ellmers, first elected in the 2010 tea party wave, handily defeated her challenger in the heavily Republican district.

Aiken has said reporters are the only people asking whether being a gay man could impede his campaign to represent such a conservative district. Both he and Crisco touted themselves as centrists.

"We need to stay out of people's bedrooms," Bob Finch, a 57-year-old Democrat from Lee County, said Tuesday.

People are Reading