Under the Dome

Isn’t he a Democrat? Lawn signs appear with ‘Republaiken’ slogan

What’s a Republaiken?

Lawn signs have been popping up in the 2nd Congressional District sporting a mash-up between the word Republican and the last name of Democratic candidate Clay Aiken. That’s “Republaiken” written in blue and red. Most of “aiken” is in red.

The district’s incumbent, U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, mentioned Aiken’s signs at a Republican Women’s Club meeting this week.

“Guess what? This week he’s Republican,” said Ellmers, a Republican from Dunn. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a campaign like this. Be all things to all people. You have to be who you are.”

The state Republican Party was more blunt, putting out a press release titled “Fakin’ Clay Aiken attempts to trick voters with yard signs.”

The 2nd Congressional District was drawn to give a Republican candidate the advantage. Though Aiken has widespread name recognition as a former “American Idol” contestant, he’s widely considered to be a longshot candidate.

Aiken is not trying to mislead voters into thinking he’s a Republican, said Tucker Middleton, his campaign spokeswoman. The signs represent the theme of Aiken’s campaign – that he wants to represent everyone, she said.

“People across the district are really frustrated because they feel like they’re not being represented right now,” Middleton said.

The signs are a “big hit,” she said. “I think it says a lot that the Ellmers campaign and her party leaders are upset over some clever yard signs.”