Aiken congressional rival Keith Crisco dies

ASHEBORO, RANDOLPH COUNTY - Congressional candidate Keith Crisco, who was trailing 'Idol' runner-up Clay Aiken by just a few hundred votes in the primary, has died.

According to ABC affiliate WTVD, Crisco died suddenly at his home in Asheboro Monday. Media reports say he suffered a fall. He was 71 years old.

Primary results showed Crisco trailing Aiken by 369 votes for the Democratic nomination in the 2nd Congressional District race of the U.S. House. Crisco was reportedly waiting for final numbers before deciding whether to request a recount, according to WTVD.

The winner would face incumbent Renee Ellmers in November.

According to Crisco's biography, the businessman was born in North Carolina and had lived in Asheboro for the past 35 years.

In 2008, Crisco was asked to serve as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He had also served in elected positions on the Asheboro City Schools Board of Education and the Asheboro City Council.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, three children, and six grand children.

The State Board of Elections released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"The State Board of Elections is saddened to hear of the passing of Keith Crisco. A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco's service to our state and his community through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time."

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