Citing Special Education Background, Clay Aiken Running For Congress
One-time “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken is bidding for a seat in Congress and he’s citing his experience as a special educator as he throws his hat in the ring.
Aiken, 35, is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge current U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, a Republican, to represent North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District.
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Best known for competing on “American Idol” in 2003, Aiken has worked as a special education teacher and served on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.
He cited both experiences in a video posted online Wednesday morning announcing his candidacy.
“The years I spent as a special education teacher for students with autism was my first window into the difference that a person can make in someone’s life,” Aiken said in the video.
“I’m a Democrat, but it was when I was appointed by President Bush to serve on a special presidential commission to address the educational challenges of children with special needs, that was when I first realized that our problems won’t be solved by only one party or the other, but instead it’s going to require all of us,” he said.
Aiken acknowledged that most Americans don’t have “golden tickets” like the one he received when he was selected to participate on “American Idol” and said he wants to represent those without a voice.
“I’m not a politician. I don’t ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back — at least to my corner of North Carolina — the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not,” Aiken said.