Klein says Aiken's reputation could be hard for the new candidate to get past, especially in a conservative district made more conservative with recent redistricting.
"I think his fame will box him in but more than that. You're going to see an intense scrutiny over everything he has said, tweeted, or hinted at over the years. People are going to dredge that up and they are going to play hardball with Clay Aiken," Klein said.
The North Carolina Republican Party was hesitant to criticize Aiken Wednesday, saying only in a release that voters "have no clue" on his positions on issues from the Affordable Care Act and government spending to gun control and abortion.
Ellmers also will face a primary challenge. Conservative talk radio host Frank Roche, of Cary, says she isn't conservative enough to represent the district, which Republican lawmakers redrew in 2011 to be more favorable to GOP candidates.
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