Clay Aiken Announces Run For Congress. SNL Nutjob Victoria Jackson Throws Hat In Ring, Too

Clay Aiken has officially announced his intention to run for Congress in his native North Carolina, aiming at the seat currently held by Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers since 2011. The openly gay entertainer laid out his reasons in a video (above) posted on the News Observer website.

clay aiken“I saw this as the best place I could serve, because I think Washington, in general, is dysfunctional,” Aiken, 35 says of his decision. “I think it’s high time we put people in Congress who were not beholden to their party, and not beholden to anything but the people who they live around and grew up around, in my case.”

While Aiken has never served office, pre-Idol he taught special education students in Wake County and has since worked with UNICEF and in his local community. Job creation and the economy will be key themes in his campaign, though if elected we imagine the singer will try to do something about the state’s odious ban on marriage equality.

Speaking of entertainers running for office, former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson has also thrown her hat into the ring. She’s filed to run as an independent for a seat on a county commission outside Nashville.

victoria jackson The Casual Sex star, who calls herself a “tea party conservative,” will run as an independent because she believes the GOP has lost its way. “I’m very disappointed with the Republican Party,” she told The Tennessean. “They just don’t have the values of our Founding Fathers anymore.”

Apparently those values include bigotry and intolerance: In 2011, Jackson went off on a rant about a gay kiss on Glee, calling it “sickening” and the show “a mockery of Christians.”

More recently she protested the opening of a mosque in Murfreesboro, a suburb of Nashville.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.