Clay’s Aiken’s Democratic rival in N.C. congressional race dies suddenly

Posted at 5:39 PM, May 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-12 17:39:17-04

(CNN) — Keith Crisco, a businessman who was locked in a primary runoff for a Democratic congressional seat in North Carolina with Clay Aiken, has died, according to the company he co-founded and a Democratic source.

Details of his death were not immediately clear. He was 71.

He was running a very close second in the primary battle in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District, around 300 votes behind Aiken.

Final results had been expected this week along with a decision by Crisco on whether he would ask for a recount if the situation hadn’t changed.

The State Board of Elections said in a statement “it was saddened” to hear of Crisco’s death.

“A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco’s service to our state and his community through the years,” the elections board said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time.”

Crisco was a textile entrepreneur and co-founded Asheboro Elastics, which confirmed his death.

He was also a former state commerce secretary and was a White House fellow in the 1970s.

He is survived by his wife, Jane, and three children and six grandchildren.