Clay Aiken has taken the first official step toward a career in D.C. politics.
On Thursday, the “American Idol” alum officially filed to run for congress representing North Carolina by submitting his paperwork at the State Board of Elections in Raleigh, N.C. Additionally, Aiken launched a campaign fundraising site.
“I am honored to be joined by my Mom and teachers who shaped MY values as I declare,” Aiken, 35, tweeted to his more than 51,000 followers.
Also read: Clay Aiken Running for Congress
He’ll be running for the 2nd District seat currently held by Republican Renee Ellmers. But first, he’ll run in the Democratic primary in about 10 weeks. Aiken will run as a Democrat, facing a field of primary challengers –including former state commerce secretary Keith Crisco.
If he prevails, he will then face off against the two-term Ellmers.
In a previously-released campaign video, Aiken stressed his experience as a special education teacher and his working class roots.
“For most Americans there are no golden tickets, at least not like the kind you see on TV,” Aiken said. “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 has been an advocate for gay rights. In addition to his time on “American Idol,” Aiken released several albums including “Measure of a Man” and “All is Well.” He also appeared on Broadway in “Spamalot.”