News Column

Candidate Aiken Says People See Him Differently

May 20, 2014

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Congressional candidate Clay Aiken says voters in North Carolina are getting a different look at him from his "American Idol" background.

Aiken told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday that music has opened doors for him. But he says he has to overcome the singing fame to be considered as a candidate.

The Democrat denied his campaign has downplayed the fact that he supports gay marriage. Aiken is gay and says he is emphasizing issues that affect voters. He cites the debt that many college students face serious debt upon graduation. Aiken also says the unemployment rate is too high for veterans.

He says better funding and improvements are needed in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The veterans unemployment rate is 11 percent, 4 points higher than the rest of the rest of the population," Aiken said. "It's a very mismanaged organization."

Aiken stopped short of calling for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, saying he did not have all the facts about problems at the agency.

Aiken faces incumbent Republican Renee Ellmers in November.

For more stories covering politics, please see HispanicBusiness' Politics Channel

Source: Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters