David Yates May 14, 2014, 2:09pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (Legal Newsline) - Musician and congressional hopeful Clay Aiken will go on to face Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers in the general election.

On Feb. 27, Aiken, the 2003 "American Idol" runner-up, filed to run for U.S. Congress in North Carolina's 2nd District, hoping to unseat Ellmers.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Aiken landed 11,678 votes for 40.86 percent. The late Keith Crisco claimed 11,288 votes for 39.49 percent. The third Democratic challenger, Toni Morris, received 5,616 votes for 19.65 percent.

Crisco, the former commerce secretary, died Monday - a day before board officials could determine whether a run-off election was necessary.

Following his death, Aiken released the following statement: "I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco's death. Keith came from humble beginnings. No matter how high he rose - to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor's Cabinet - he never forgot where he came from.

"He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends."

In the first quarter of the 2014 election cycle, Aiken raised around a quarter-million in campaign contributions, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Crisco had netted nearly $700,000 in campaign contributions.

Aiken will battle Ellmers in a district that saw 57 percent of its constituents vote for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Reach David Yates at elections@legalnewsline.com

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