Keith Crisco, the Democratic candidate running against Clay Aiken in North Carolina's Second Congressional District, died at his home in Asheboro on Monday.
He was 71 years old.
Initial reports indicate Crisco suffered injuries from a fall at his house around 1 p.m. today. He was announced dead at the scene.
At the time of Crisco's passing, the District 2 race was considered “too close to call," though Aiken lead Crisco by 369 votes at last count.
"I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” the former American Idol runner-up said in a statement. “He was a gentleman, a good and honorable man and an extraordinary public servant. I was honored to know him."
Aiken added that he is "suspending all campaign activities as we pray for his family and friends."
Crisco served as Secretary of the North Caroline Department of Commerce before leaving his post in 2012 and taught Sunday school at First United Methodist Church in Asheboro.
It is now expected that Aiken will face Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers for the seat in Congress.