Clay Aiken's opponent in the Democratic primary for North Carolina's Second Congressional District seat, Keith Crisco, died today, according to the company he owned, Asheboro Elastics Corporation.
The textile entrepreneur and former state commerce secretary died at his home around 1:30 p.m., the company said. He had fallen, a spokesperson for the company told ABC News, but no other information was immediately available.
At the time of his death, the race was still too close to call. Aiken was leading Crisco by just 369 votes and on Tuesday the votes are scheduled to be officially certified. The two were locked in a battle to take on incumbent GOP Rep. Renee Ellmers.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections released a statement saying they were saddened to hear of Crisco's sudden passing.
"A native of North Carolina, we are grateful for Mr. Crisco's service to our state and his community through the years," the statement said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Crisco family during this difficult time."
Clay Aiken's Opponent in Congressional Race, Keith Crisco, Dies