Keith Crisco, Clay Aiken’s Opponent in NC Congressional Primary, Dies Suddenly

Keith Crisco, who was locked in a North Carolina congressional race with Clay Aiken died at his home on Monday, WGHP reports:

CriscoReports suggest he suffered injuries from a fall at his home on Thayer Drive in Asheboro around 1 p.m. Monday. Crisco was dead when emergency services arrived at the scene, City Manager John Ogburn confirmed.

The District 2 race was considered “too close to call,” but Aiken lead Crisco by 369 votes.

Crisco released a statement on Wednesday saying he was not yet ready to concede.

“This election is still very tight,” he said. “I want the elections’ officials to have an opportunity to tally the votes and provide a report on their canvass activities to allow all the campaigns a chance to see the final numbers. This has been a great campaign and I am very appreciative of my supporters and the hard work that the county boards of elections are doing at this time.”

The NC GOP released a statement:

“We are incredibly shocked and saddened to hear about Keith Crisco’s sudden passing. Keith was an accomplished businessman and public servant with a sterling reputation and a tremendous amount of respect from North Carolinians across the partisan spectrum. Keith, like my father, served the state as Commerce Secretary with dignity and humility, and also like my father, passed away well before his time. Keith’s family is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.”

UPDATE: Aiken released a statement:

"I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco's death. 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."


  1. Anonymous says

    Wow. Don’t mess with Clay Aiken. Guess he takes this more seriously than idol.

  2. Wavin' Dave says

    It’s THE SOUTH, kids. The Widow Crisco (tee- her) will rise to the task and vanquish the uppity gay guy in a landslide runoff. Just watch, y’all.

  3. Merv says

    Who knew Clay Aiken was so ruthless? I want the whereabouts of all Claymates at the time of this guy’s “accident.”

  4. Gary says

    It’s not “The LA Clippers.’ The spouse could lose it all. Clay may have to kiss a few babies, or black football players.

  5. ryan says

    For what it’s worth, that’s a classy statement of sympathy from the NC GOP. Probably the only classy thing they’ve done this year, but still.

  6. Zeta says

    I remember when Jennifer Hudson’s mother and nephew died. This is suspect in the sae way. Somebody wants Clay to win, so he’ll win.

  7. Anonymous says

    OK. Gregory called it. Zeta wins the conspiracy nutter prize. Should have started your countdown at 4 dude.

  8. Misael says

    Insert Xanadu comments here_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  9. MichaelJ says

    JoeMyGod reports that it was the Aiken campaign, not the NC GOP, that issued that classy statement of sympathy.” I don’t know who is right and who is wrong on this.

  10. SpaceCadet says

    Okay this is sad and unfortunate but the dude is 71. This is not totally surprising. Clay is young and healthy. Good luck to him in the race ahead. I think it’s actually pretty exciting.

  11. SpaceCadet says

    @ADAM L, well now Clay faces the Republican challenger and incumbent to the seat, so unless she drops dead too he faces an uphill battle.

  12. Adam L says

    @SpaceCadet Not if the “Claymates” have anything to say about it. Someone’s gonna fall off a step stool in the not so distant future.

    (P.S. This is purely in jest. Don’t hunt me down, FBI.)

  13. SpaceCadet says

    @ADAM L, I thought the Claymates had largely abandoned Aiken when he came out. They were the tweens and suburban moms who had previously steadfastly believed it was impossible their Clay could ever be gay. But maybe the hardcore Claymates still remain who don’t care what his sexuality is.

  14. steve talbert says

    As long as Clay doesn’t smash case into someone’s face, he’s going to seem classy and congressional.. relatively speaking.

    Thanks to Michael Sam, Clay might seriously have a chance at winning the seat.