#NCPOL news: Clay Aiken’s #NC02 primary opponent Keith Crisco dies at home

Posted by: ST on May 13, 2014 at 9:36 am
Keith Crisco

Keith Crisco

Via the Asheboro Courier Tribune:

ASHEBORO — Asheboro businessman and congressional candidate, Keith Crisco, 71, died suddenly at his home today.

Information is incomplete; however, early information indicates he suffered injuries from a fall around 1 p.m. at his home on 1263 Thayer Drive in Asheboro. He was reported dead at the scene when emergency workers arrived there.

John Ogburn, Asheboro city manager, confirmed that the Asheboro Police Department and Asheboro Fire Department responded to the scene. He said the case will go to the state medical examiner to determine an exact cause of death.

In a statement from the city, local officials said they were saddened to learn of Crisco’s death. During his time on the Asheboro City Council, from 2003-2009, officials said he consistently demonstrated the intellect and steadfastness that made him so successful.

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Crisco had a long history of involvement on Asheboro’s business and local government scene. His impact reached to the state and federal level due to his involvement in industry associations, his tenure as state commerce secretary and, most recently, his run for congressional office.

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Clay Aiken, Crisco’s opponent in the 2014 Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives District 2 race, also sent his condolences.

“I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” he said in a statement. “Keith came from humble beginnings. No matter how high he rose – to Harvard, to the White House and to the Governor’s Cabinet – he never forgot where he came from. He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him. I am suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends.”

Both men were running for the chance to unseat incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers. Ellmers sent the following statement from her office in Washington.

“I am deeply saddened by this sudden and painful tragedy and wish God’s blessings for Keith’s family through the coming days,” she said. “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.”

Condolences also poured in from other prominent state figures here in NC, including from Governor Pat McCrory as well as former Governor Bev Perdue.

As the article noted, Crisco and Aiken were battling for the Democrat nomination to take on NC-02’s Congresswoman Ellmers in the fall election. Their primary battle had been “too close to call”, which Aiken having only a very narrow lead – and at a tiny bit over 40%, just enough to win the primary outright – barring a challenge. Crisco was supposed to announce by Wednesday whether or not he would challenge the close results, but multiple media outlets reported yesterday that he had planned on conceding the race to Aiken today.

One tweet from the local media stood out to me yesterday among all the other ones about Crisco, and I think you’ll appreciate it as well:


Sounds like he was doing a lot of things right in his life, doesn’t it?

I add my sincerest condolences to Mr. Crisco’s family to the many others coming in. Death is inevitable for us all, but the “preferred” way is for it to be of natural causes. That his death apparently came from an accidental fall in his own home has to be absolutely devastating to Mr. Crisco’s family. May they be comforted by God’s loving embrace during this extraordinarily difficult time.

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