Former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken is officially running for Congress. The season two runner-up announced his candidacy in a video posted on Wednesday. Aiken is running for the House of Representatives seat in North Carolina's second district, looking to unseat second-term Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers.
In the video, Aiken said Ellmers had good intentions when she went to Washington but then voted for legislation that was against the interests of North Carolina military families.
"This is what's wrong with Washington -- that a congresswoman would go there and vote against the best interests of North Carolina military families, and those who depend on the military for their jobs," Aiken said. "To do it when you know it's wrong is even worse. And to do it because your national party told you to, that's what convinced me, in the end, that if I didn't try to do something about it, then I couldn't complain if no one else did. I'm not a politician. I don't ever want to be one. But I do want to help bring back, at least to my corner of Washington, the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people, whether they voted for you or not, and maybe we can play a small part in igniting that change across the rest of our country."
Aiken said he was a Democrat but tried to cast himself as a centrist in the video, referring to his work with the Bush administration.
Aiken also discussed his difficult childhood and noted that was part of why he decided to run for Congress.
"For most Americans, there are no golden tickets -- at least not like the kind you see on TV," he said. "More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina, we've suffered more than our share of pain."
Reports of Aiken's intention to run for Congress first surfaced last month but the Idol alum had yet to comment on the rumors until now.
- This article first appeared on THR.com