NC Congressional candidate Keith Crisco dies
Keith Crisco, a North Carolina businessman running in the Democratic primary for the Second Congressional District died suddenly at his home yesterday. A spokesman for his company said Mr. Crisco died as a result of a fall.
Crisco was locked in a tight race with former American Idol star Clay Aiken. Following the primary last week, the race was too close to call with Aiken ahead by 369 votes. Crisco had yet to announce whether he would ask for a recount before his death.
The two were locked in a battle to take on incumbent GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers. In a statement, Ellmers said she was “deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God's blessings for Keith's family through the coming days.”
The North Carolina State Board of Elections also released a statement saying they were saddened to hear of Crisco’s unexpected passing.
“A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco’s service to our state and his community through the years,” the statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time."
The Asheboro, North Carolina, police department said Crisco was dead by the time emergency responders arrived. They would not immediately give any other details, including a cause of death.
Joshua Lawson, spokesman for the state Board of Elections, said that the vote certification process in North Carolina does not change because of Crisco’s death since it is prescribed by statute. The vote certification process will continue as scheduled on Tuesday and if the absentee ballots or voting errors put Crisco ahead of Aiken then the district executive committee of the Democratic Party would choose the nominee.
Crisco was the kind of Democrat Republicans should worry about; pro business, pro family and projecting a moderate image. The openly gay Aiken shouldn't present much trouble for the GOP incumbent Renee Ellmers. Mitt Romney got 70% of the vote in the Second District in 2012 while Ellmers cruised to victory with 56%.