Aiken vs. Crisco race remains 'too close to call'

Keith Crisco says he'll wait for final vote tallies before deciding on next move.
May 7, 2014 3:43:21 PM PDT
With less than 400 votes separating him and Clay Aiken in the North Carolina Second Congressional District Democratic primary, Keith Crisco said he'd wait for more information from state election officials before announcing his next move.

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"This election is still very tight. 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," Crisco said in a statement. "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."

Provisional and absentee ballots will be counted this week and early next week. The official count isn't expected until Tuesday. That's when it will be clear whether there will be a run-off, or a possible recount.

"I am deeply grateful to the thousands of people who responded to our campaign to change the tone of politics and give the people of the Second District the representation they deserve in Washington," said Aiken Wednesday in a statement. "This was a very close contest, and as we continue to count the votes, we are more and more excited about our campaign's ability to move forward and be victorious in November. We're grateful for all the messages of congratulations and pledges of continued support that we've received today."

Aiken, a former American Idol contestant, jumped out to an early lead Tuesday evening as the unofficial numbers started to come in, but as the evening wore on, that lead got smaller and smaller - down to just over a percentage point over Crisco. Toni Morris - the third-place Democratic candidate - got less than 20 percent of the vote.

On the Republican side, incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers comfortably beat challenger - and former foreign currency trader - Frank Roche for the nomination Tuesday.

"With tonight's election behind us, we turn to the November election and these simple truths: we cannot afford to send another Obama liberal to Congress to vote with Nancy Pelosi and support Barack Obama's agenda," said Ellmers.

Ellmers rode the tea party wave that shook up Congress in 2010 and is now looking for a third term. The 50-year-old nurse from Dunn enjoys an advantage because the district's map was drawn by GOP lawmakers to favor a Republican. Mitt Romney won nearly six in 10 votes in the district in 2012 and Ellmers captured 56 percent.


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