We guess the race is no longer ‘Too Close to call’ as Clay Aiken’s opponent, Keith Crisco, died suddenly following a fall. Aiken and Crisco were running in the Democratic primary in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district.
Crisco had a long history of involvement in Asheboro’s business and local government scene. He was a co-founder of Asheboro Elastics Corp. and received much recognition for the success of his narrow-elastics business in a struggling textile industry. He served on the Asheboro City Council from 2003-2009.
In 2008, Keith was asked to serve as secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce by then Gov. Bev Perdue. He left the post in 2012 and earlier this year officially launched a run for the U.S. House District 2 seat in the Democratic primary. He ran against Clay Aiken.
– See more at: Congressional candidate Keith Crisco dies suddenly at home
Clay Aiken, I am “stunned and deeply saddened”
“I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” Aiken said in a statement.
“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.”
Crisco, a successful Asheboro businessman and later secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, had faced Aiken in a tense battle for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District.
Aiken was credited with 11,649 votes, Crisco 11,277 and Toni Morris of Fayetteville 5,599.
Crisco, 71, had refused to concede the election, and the Board of Elections was scheduled to have a voter canvass on Tuesday. The State Board of Elections sent out a news release expressing that it was saddened to hear he died, but did not say what happens next in the election.
If the canvas shows Aiken had the most votes and at least a 40 percent margin, however, the point is moot and Aiken will face Ellmers.
However, well-known Raleigh political consultant Brad Crone said he had spoken with Crisco earlier Monday and Crisco planned to concede.
“At his instruction, I had called Gary Pearce to convey that Keith was going to concede the election tomorrow morning and would be calling Mr. Aiken to congratulate him,” Crone wrote in an email.