Multi-platinum recording artist, Broadway star, New York Times Best Selling author, frequent television guest star, touring machine - those are the things Clay Aiken is most known for.
Had the time really come when he would flip the page on all of that to devote himself fulltime to service?
Early this morning, the answer came from the News & Observer newspaper in Raleigh, NC.
Clay Aiken makes it official: He will run for Congress
I wrote in my last blog entry, A Talent to Amuse, about Clay as artist and activist. Those twin stars of his public life have been evident for eleven years now, but in one of his earliest public statements, in support of Youth Service Day 2004, this is what he said:
Given problems such as poverty and illiteracy, we cannot afford to turn away anyone who wants to volunteer as a full and active citizen in our country... Everyone's voice is needed and deserves to be heard.
He has said that he wants to do more for people who don't have a voice, or whose voices aren't being heard, to be a true representative instead of a politician.
Here is Clay's statement on why he is running for Congress.
Campaign video, Clay for North Carolina
Over the course of the past eleven years, Clay has been a UNICEF Ambassador, serving children in crisis situations in the developing world; the co-founder of the National Inclusion Project, which brings children with and without disabilities together to laugh, learn and play; a supporter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to end bullying and make every school a safe space for all students, and; a promoter and fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS His love for his home state of North Carolina, and his distress over the turn that it has taken over the last few years as progressive and inclusive programs have been dismantled, is palpable and obvious.
With that background, in the current dysfunctional political environment, I should not have been surprised that Clay Aiken would run for Congress.
It will be a loss to the world of the arts, at least for a while, but one could not wish for a more passionate and dedicated activist turned servant-leader..
Good luck and Godspeed, Clay.
To find out more, to volunteer or to make a donation, please visit his personal account @ClayAiken on Twitter, his campaign account @ClayforNC on Twitter, his campaign Facebook account and his website, Clay for North Carolina.
N & O Photo by Corey Lowenstein