North Carolina businessman Keith Crisco reportedly died suddenly Monday, six days after he faced off against “American Idol” star Clay Aiken in a Democratic House primary. Initial official results showed Aiken with a 369 vote lead. However, last Wednesday, Crisco issued a statement saying he would wait for officials to complete a canvass of the results and release “final numbers” before giving up.
“This election is still very tight,” Crisco said.
According to the Courier-Tribune newspaper, Crisco “died suddenly” after “he suffered injuries from a fall around 1 p.m. at his home” in Asheboro, North Carolina, Monday. However, the paper noted information about the incident was “incomplete.” The Asheboro police department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
On Thursday, Crisco campaign spokesman Aaron Fiedler told Business Insider he had no new updates about the status of the race. The campaign has not sent out any new information since Crisco’s initial statement last week.
On Monday, Business Insider sent an email to Fiedler’s address inquiring about the report of Crisco’s death. That email bounced back. The North Carolina State Board of Elections also did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider Monday.
Update (5:28 pm): According to WTVD reporter Derek Rowles, Aiken issued a statement Monday announcing he would suspend campaign operations in the wake of Crisco’s death.
“I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” Aiken said, adding, “He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man, and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers, the Republican incumbent in the district also issued a statement on Crisco’s death.
“I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God’s blessings for Keith’s family through the coming days. His kindness and dedication to his principles were models we should all strive toward, and he will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Keith’s family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time,” said Ellmers.
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