All eyes on 2nd Congressional District primary among Democrats


Clay Aiken, Keith Crisco, and Toni Morris are fighting it out for a chance to take on Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in the fall.

"People are tired of the way both parties are behaving," said Aiken. "I think they are tired of the way politicians in general are behaving."

With just hours to go, Aiken is logging a lot miles to listen to voters. The singer/songwriter and American Idol runner-up is banking on it to lift him over former Commerce Sec. Keith Crisco.

Aiken weighed in on issues ranging from education to unemployment in Fayetteville's military community.

"I think the federal government should be looking at changing the way it funds schools," said Aiken. "The veterans' unemployment rate is 11 percent. The rest of the population in this state hovers around seven percent."

It's a straight approach Aiken said that recently took a negative turn, with an ad attacking Aiken for skipping presidential committee meetings.

Aiken's commercial response is more positive, but talked of Crisco critically when it comes to jobs.

"I think we need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are going overseas," said Aiken. "He, (Crisco) on the other hand lobbied heavily for CAFTA, which sent jobs overseas and in fact sent hundreds of his own jobs for his elastic company to Central America."

Also in the mix is Toni Morris who is a licensed professional counselor from Fayetteville. Morris appeared at last week's debate on ABC11.

Whoever wins could face an uphill battle with Ellmers in a district that favors the GOP.

However, Aiken believes his prospects are promising because Ellmers, he said, is out of touch.

"You cast a vote that hurts thousands of children of active duty members and veterans," said Aiken. "You put 800,000 people out of work across the country, and then you say, 'Well, I need my paycheck.' That's the bottom line. That's a tone deafness."

Crisco declined an interview with ABC11 Monday evening, and we were unable to reach Morris.

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