Clay Aiken, UNC Charlotte class of 2003, recently suspended his campaign for North Carolina Congressman after opponent for the Democratic nomination, Keith Crisco, passed away at his home on Monday, May 12.

In a released statement, Aiken said, “He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends.”

Crisco, 71, reportedly died when he accidentally tripped on a rug in his home and fell backward, hitting his head, according to statements made to WCNC by political consultant Brad Crone.

Crisco and Aiken were close in numbers vying for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, according to the results recorded in the unofficial statewide primary election results, most recently updated on May 6, 2014. Aiken reportedly had 11,669 votes, with Crisco not far behind with 11,280. A third candidate, Toni Morris, was credited with 5,607 votes.

A voter canvass was scheduled to occur Tuesday, May 13 by the North Carolina state Board of Elections. In a statement to ABC News Joshua Lawson, spokesman for the Board of Elections, said that Crisco’s death does not change the vote certification process. According to Lawson, should Crisco come out ahead after votes are tallied, the district executive committee of the Democratic Party would select a nominee.

Clay Aiken signing autographs for fans outside Colvard in Sept. 2003. NT File Photo
Eden Creamer was the Editor-in-Chief for the Niner Times from May 2013 through April 2015. She graduated from UNC Charlotte in May 2015, receiving her degree in Communication Studies with minors in English, Journalism and Women's Studies. She now does freelance proofing, copywriting and design in the Charlotte area, and can be reached at