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Clay Aiken Just Won the Democratic Primary… Because His Opponent Died

A hotly contested Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina ended in a standoff last week when the race between former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken and Asheboro businessman Keith Crisco resulted in a draw. With just 369 votes separating the two candidates, the race was slated to head to a runoff. On Monday, however, it was confirmed that Crisco suddenly passed away.

“Information is incomplete,” the Asheboro Courier-Tribune reported on Monday. “However, early information indicates he suffered injuries from a fall around 1 p.m. at his home at 1263 Thayer Drive in Asheboro. He was reported dead at the scene when emergency workers arrived there.”

RELATED: Democratic Party’s New Rising Star: Clay Aiken?

Both candidates were awaiting word from state officials before proceeding with the next stage of their candidacy. As the last remaining candidate in the race, Aiken will likely face Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) in the fall.

UPDATE: Aiken posted a comment to his Facebook page where he called for prayers for Crisco’s family and friends. “I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” he wrote. “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.”

In light of recent developments, the former Idol contestant said that he will temporarily suspend campaign-related activities.

[Image via screengrab]

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