Aiken, 35, whose rise to fame began in 2003 as an “American Idol” finalist, who ended up losing to America’s teddy bear and “The Biggest Loser” contestant Ruben Studdard. Via a YouTube video released Wednesday, Aiken unveiled plans to unseat incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers. In a radio interview last week, Ellmers was amused at Aiken’s run for Congress: “As we know, he doesn’t always fare that well. He was runner up.” Aiken will face two candidates in the Democratic primary.
“For most Americans, there are no golden tickets,” Aiken says in the video. “At least not like the kind you see on TV. More families are struggling today than at any time in our history. And here in North Carolina, we’ve suffered more than our share of pain.”
Aiken stressed his upbringing in a single-parent household and job as a special education teacher to explain his desire to serve those who don’t have a voice.
North Carolina is deemed more conservative, as Mitt Romney won 58 percent of the votes in his 2012 presidential bid.
Aside from his singing career and new political venture, Aiken, an openly gay father of one, has appeared on Broadway. He also had a stint on Donald Trump‘s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2012, where he also was the runner up, losing to talk show host and comedian Arsenio Hall.