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Clay Aiken’s Democratic challenger dies in home accident

Keith Crisco, 71, a North Carolina entrepreneur locked in Democratic primary congressional battle with former “American Idol” singer Clay Aiken, died in a home accident.

Crisco for Congress/AP File

Keith Crisco, 71, a North Carolina entrepreneur locked in Democratic primary congressional battle with former “American Idol” singer Clay Aiken, died in a home accident.

ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina textile entrepreneur locked in a too-close-to-call Democratic Party primary with former ‘‘American Idol’’ singer Clay Aiken has died.

The president of the company founded by 71-year-old Keith Crisco says Crisco died at home on Monday after an accident. AEC Narrow Fabrics President Robert Lawson says Crisco’s son notified company employees of the death.

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There were less than 400 votes separating Crisco and Aiken after Tuesday’s Democratic primary contest in the Republican-leaning 2nd Congressional District. The winner faces Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers in November.

Crisco had been North Carolina’s top business recruiter for four years under former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who left office in 2013.

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