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Clay Aiken announces he’s running for Congress: “We need powerful voices more than ever”

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American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is once again throwing his hat into the political ring with his eyes set at becoming a member of Congress.

The “Invisible” singer is vying for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses the cities of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point.  He is running as a Democrat.

“Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years since I first got to share my voice with you? That’s a long time. A LOT has changed!,” he tweeted on Monday. “We need powerful voices more than ever, so I’m running for Congress. And my voice is even stronger now!”

Clay, who’s 43, poked fun at how much he’s changed since America was first introduced to him as an aspiring singer in the early aughts. In an official campaign video, he stared at a photo taken during his 2003 stint on the reality singing competition and remarked, “Most of you remember me like this… skinny.”

The singer spoke about how much his life has changed in the years since, such as becoming a father and publicly coming out as gay — but that his love for his home state has stayed the same.

Clay’s platform includes transportation, gun violence, climate change and those he dubs “precious rights” — voting rights, LGBT rights and reproductive rights.

Should he be voted to represent the 6th district, Clay will become the first openly gay congressperson in history to represent a Southern state.  The Democratic primary takes place in May. 

Clay previously ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014.

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