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Clay Aiken running for Congress in 2014. Photo: Jeffrey A. Camarati/Getty Images

Former "American Idol" contestant Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina, he announced in a video Monday, eight years after his failed bid for a House seat in the state.

Details: Aiken, who finished second on "American Idol" in 2003, is running as a Democrat to replace long-serving Rep. David Price in North Carolina's redrawn 6th District. Price, also a Democrat, announced last October he would not seek re-election.

  • Aiken lost a bid for Congress in 2014 to then-Republican incumbent Renee L. Ellmers.

What he's saying: “For decades, North Carolina was actually the progressive beacon in the South. ... But then things changed, and the progressives lost power, and we started getting backward-ass policies, like the voter suppression bills and the bigoted bathroom bill,” Aiken said in the video.

  • “Because today, it seems like the loudest voices in North Carolina politics are white nationalists, like this guy,” Aiken said, as the video showed a clip of Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.).

Aiken's platform includes fighting for "inclusion, income equality, free access to quality health care, and combating climate change," per his campaign website.

Go deeper

North Carolina voters file suit to disqualify Rep. Cawthorn's re-election bid

Photo: Emil Lippe/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

A group of North Carolina voters filed a legal challenge Monday to disqualify Rep. Madison Cawthorn from running for re-election, citing the Republican lawmaker's involvement in a rally preceding the deadly Capitol insurrection.

Why it matters: The legal challenge, filed before the North Carolina State Board of Elections, argues that Cawthorn's speech at the rally, questioning the result of the presidential election, constitutionally bars him from seeking a second term.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America
  3. Politics: Government website for free COVID tests launches early
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older
  5. Variant tracker