Clay Aiken is going from singer to politician.
On Wednesday (February 4), the former "American Idol" contestant announced in a campaign video, "Open Door," that he will be running for Congress from North Carolina.
The video begins with Aiken reflecting on his childhood and revealing that his mother sought out refuge from his abusive father at a friend's house.
"So much of who I am was shaped in those early years, and it's part of why I decided to run for Congress," Aiken said. "For most Americans, there are no golden tickets — at least not like the kind you see on TV. 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."
The political hopeful highlighted some of his offstage achievements, focusing on his work as a special education teacher and as an Ambassador for UNICEF. He also worked with President George Bush, where he addressed educational challenges of children with special needs.
"That was when I first realized that our problems won't be solved by only one party or the other," Aiken said. "Instead, it's going to require all of us."
Aiken is hoping to unseat second-term Rep. Renee Ellmers and will most likely face professional counselor Toni Morris and the state's commerce secretary, Keith Crisco, in the Democratic primary.
"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 North Carolina, the idea that someone can go to Washington to represent all the people," Aiken said. "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. This is why I'm running for Congress."