Ex-Idol's political rival dies suddenly
Former American Idol star Clay Aiken receives an unexpected bump in a Democratic primary after his opponent was found dead at his home.PT0M34S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-386zj 620 349 May 13, 2014
Washington: American Idol alumnus and recording artist Clay Aiken has received an unfortunate boost in his bid to become a North Carolina politician.
His rival, Democratic candidate Keith Crisco, 71, died on Monday at his home in a what was described as an "unfortunate fall".
Mr Crisco, who was narrowly trailing Aiken in the North Carolina congressional primary election, died a day before election officials were to determine whether a run-off election was required.
Likely Democratic nominee: Clay Aiken speaks to supporters during a primary election night party in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Photo: AP
State election rules require a primary run-off if no candidate receives 40 per cent of the vote. Initial results showed Aiken with 40.8 per cent of the vote. Mr Crisco had yet to concede, however, and could have requested a recount if the final margin was within 1 percentage point.
In a statement, Aiken said he was suspending all campaign activities and called Mr Crisco a "gentleman, a good and honourable man and an extraordinary public servant".
Mr Crisco's death now all but ensures that Aiken will be the Democratic nominee to face incumbent Republican representative Renee Ellmers in November.