By Britt Bickel

While most of America may know Clay Aiken as a best-selling artist who rose to fame on the second season of American Idol, the singer is embarking on a new venture – he’s running for Congress.

Aiken, 35, released his campaign video to officially announce his run for the Democratic nomination for the North Carolina seat currently held by Rep. Renee Elmers (R—N.C.), reports Time.

In the campaign video titled “Open Door,” Aiken explains his motivation to run for Congress in North Carolina, beginning with a personal story of his upbringing when his mother fled an abusive father and stayed in friend’s living room.

He mentions his years as a special education teacher and his experience making a difference in the community when he was appointed by President George W. Bush to a presidential commission on special education. Though he points out he is Democrat, it was that appointment that made Aiken realize problems with education and beyond won’t be solved by just one party.

“That was when I first realized that our problems won’t be solved by one party or the other, but instead, it’s going to require all of us,” he says in the video.

Aiken says he will focus on jobs and the economy as well as the importance of education, according to Huffington Post.

Though he doesn’t mention American Idol specifically in the video, he refers to the “golden ticket” he received that ultimately changed his life. He notes however, “for most Americans, there are no ‘golden tickets,’ at least not like the kind you see on TV.”

Watch his campaign video below.


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