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merrieeee

#66: "I'm Clay Aiken, and I Approved This Message!"

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Via CV:

Chatham County Council on Aging: The Western Chatham Senior Center enjoyed a visit from Clay Aiken this past Friday. He helped serve lunch and chatted with the seniors! Thanks Clay!

1 hour ago

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Posted on Clay's campaign FB page:

Want to meet Clay and hear him speak? He will be in Lillington tomorrow from 10am-12pm, speaking at 11.

JA Campbell House

4579 US 421 N

Lillington, NC 27546

Come on out!

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Clay retweeted a Historic Venues tweet.

@HistoricVenues: We are thrilled to be hosting a fundraiser for @clayaiken tomorrow at The Grand Ballroom! @ClayForNC

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Ldyj there's a couple of new pics on CV but I don't have time to bring them over. They are Instagram ones! Cute.

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Such great perks at work! Such a nice guy and a great sport! His mom definitely raised him right! Clay…

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He was such a great sport! Photo bomb! #clayaiken @ Cape Fear Otolaryngology

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@fayettevillenow: N.C. congressional candidate Clay Aiken stops in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg: Clay Aiken isn't naive. As a political... http://t.co/e2slnfweTy

There are three pics on the side. He looks so intent!

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Here's the article tied to the tweet:

N.C. congressional candidate Clay Aiken stops in Fayetteville, Fort Bragg

By Gregory Phillips Staff writer | Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 6:51 pm

Clay Aiken isn't naive. As a political newcomer, the 35-year-old realizes he's known principally as an "American Idol" runner-up. Most candidates don't have people interrupting them every few minutes to ask for a picture or a hug.

But Aiken uses that unusual level of name recognition - something many first-time candidates would kill for - to get people to listen to his ideas as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the state's Second Congressional District. The seat is currently occupied by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, who is seeking re-election.

"I'd rather be in a position of name recognition and need to change it, than having none," he said. "One problem that any first-time candidate has is getting people to listen."

Aiken was in Fayetteville today, touring Fort Bragg before meeting a small group of military spouses at the Marquis Market on Person Street downtown. Dressed in a grey suit and open-necked shirt, he was laidback and easygoing.

The hour-long chat with spouses focused mostly on the efforts of military families to navigate their way through the health care system and to find work.

Aiken, whose brother completed two tours in Iraq with the Marines, asked questions, listened and pledged to be accessible if he's elected.

"I would like to get an idea of the needs," he said as he sat down at a row of tables pulled together.

The meeting ended with warm hugs and group cell phone pictures.

In the May primary, Aiken faces Keith Crisco, a former state secretary of commerce, and Toni Morris, a counselor from Fayetteville. Aiken said he was moved to run by the redrawing of districts - "I won't use the g-word," he said - that has been challenged in court for, among other things, packing Democratic voters into as few districts as possible and making more districts GOP-friendly.

Aiken said he was also spurred by what he called Ellmers' "tone-deaf" response to the federal sequestration budget cuts in 2013.

Redistricting created an especially disparate Second District, a three-pointed star that juts into nine counties including Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee and Moore.

Aiken lives in Cary and has been touring the district's various communities - suburban Wake County, retiree-rich Moore County, Cumberland's military population and the rural areas that surround them.

"The things I don't know about, I want to learn about," he said.

One thing Aiken said he's learned is the need for civilian professional licensing organizations to recognize military training and qualifications, to make it easier for veterans to get jobs for which they're already qualified.

Aiken said instructors at Sandhills Community College told him they had taught veterans who knew more than they did, but who had to take courses anyway.

"We need to streamline that and make it easier," he said.

As Aiken readied to leave Marquis Market, he was interrupted more than once by fans and well-wishers.

"I used to watch you every night on 'American Idol,'" one woman said.

With a primary and, he hopes, a general election to come, Aiken didn't miss a beat as the woman walked away.

"You have two more chances to vote," he called out to her.

Staff writer Gregory Phillips can be reached at phillipsg@fayobserver.com or 486-3596.

And the pictures!

My favorite is this:

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These are some of the best pics of ClayI have ever seen. A man who loves what he is doing!

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OMG, yes! That one with him looking upwards is a stunner.

And boy, does he love this. He is having the time of his life right now. I'm thrilled for him.

I'm on week 3 of a head cold -- I don't feel badly except that my head is either full or dripping, and that makes me tired. I'm thinking of staying home tomorrow just to try and get some rest....

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merrieeee, you are funny!

I did stay home today, and am going to go to the doctor's office later today. Everyone is telling me that if a cold lasts more than two weeks, you should see a doctor. Whatevs.

Hope we get more beautiful pictures today! I'm still in awe of that one. He's luminescent.

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Clay tweets

@clayaiken: I am in Lillington, NC at the J.A. Campbell House this morning https://t.co/ho3FPEi2a1 #nc02 #standwithclay

@clayaiken: But tonight I'll be in Raleigh for a fundraiser if you wish to join! https://t.co/mcRCzAgDLq #nc02 #standwithclay

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Who'da thunk we would get a MAP with his exact location? Wow.

And I LOVE the Facebook banner picture for the fundraiser this evening.

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This is too cute.

@TiffanySeawell: I JUST WALKED PAST CLAY AIKEN

@TiffanySeawell: OMG

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Gosh he looks as young as them!

Hee hee. This is the person that tweeted the pic of him walking.

Quote:

Deagan Williams ‏@DeaganWilliams

.@ClayForNC is already interacting with students on campus. Last time @RepReneeEllmers was scheduled to visit @CampbellGOP she cancelled!

Love twitter.

Quote:

@summermc13: Wonderful luncheon with @clayaiken. Clay is going to make a wonderful leader for North Carolina. #standwithclay http://t.co/HVFAFPH5xt

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The escort, Deagan Williams (who posted the tweet picture above) also posted this:

Deagan Williams ‏@DeaganWilliams

.@ClayForNC is already interacting with students on campus. Last time @RepReneeEllmers was scheduled to visit @CampbellGOP she cancelled!

merrieee, you're on your own for a while...I'm heading to the Doctor's office!

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