Keith Crisco, the businessman and former state official challenging “American Idol” runner-up Clay Aiken in the Democratic primary for a Congressional seat died Monday in his North Carolina home. He was 70. The race between the two had been too close to call, with Aiken leading by 369 votes as the two men awaited an official canvas, according to the Asheboro Courier-Tribune:
Asheboro businessman and congressional candidate, Keith Crisco, died suddenly at his home today.
Information is incomplete; however, early information indicates he suffered injuries from a fall around 1 p.m. at his home at 1263 Thayer Drive in Asheboro. He was reported dead at the scene when emergency workers arrived there.
The Asheboro businessman had served as Commerce Secretary under Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue. Crisco did not concede on Election Day despite the close tally:
“This election is still very tight,” he said. “I want the elections’ officials to have an opportunity to tally the votes and provide a report on their canvass activities to allow all the campaigns a chance to see the final numbers. This has been a great campaign and I am very appreciative of my supporters and the hard work that the county boards of elections are doing at this time.”
Crisco would have been entitled to request a recount if the canvass had ended with a margin of victory for Aiken under 1 percent:
By Tuesday, the nine counties that fall at least partially within 2nd District will have concluded a certification of results that includes provisional and absentee ballots. The State Board of Elections will have to certify those results, board spokesman Josh Lawson said, but historically they have accepted county-level certifications.
If the new votes coming in push Aiken’s margin of victory within one percent, Crisco will have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to request a recount.
The general election in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District will pit the Democratic nominee against incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers.