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Medical Examiner Releases Details About Death Of Clay Aiken Primary Opponent

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Keith Crisco — who at the time of his shocking death was in a too-close-to call North Carolina Democratic congressional primary with former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken — died due to heart disease, according to the medical examiner’s report obtained by The Daily Caller.

Crisco, 71, died as he walked inside his home in Asheboro on May 12, according to the report. A week earlier, Crisco ran in the Democratic primary for the 2nd congressional district seat.

The race had not been called at the time of Crisco’s death, though Aiken was leading the former secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce by 369 votes.

The medical examiner report lists “hypertensive and arterioscleortic cardiovascular disease” as the probable cause of death. Crisco, according to the report, had a history of high blood pressure.

On the day of his death, Crisco told his wife he was going to do some errands in his vehicle. He returned home at about 1 p.m.

“His wife heard him arrive home,” the examiner wrote. “She heard him enter the door and heard him when he fell coming into the house. When she got to him, she said he was gasping for breath.”

Crisco, wearing a a blue shirt and khaki pants, fell near the front door.

The report labeled Crisco’s death natural and stated that the examiner did not find any abrasions or blood on the body.

Aiken, who temporarily suspended his campaign because of Crisco’s death, was subsequently declared the winner of the primary. He is set to face incumbent Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in November.

“I am stunned and deeply saddened by Keith Crisco’s death,” Aiken said at the time. “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.

Read the full report:

Medical Examiner Report On Keith Crisco by Alex Pappas

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