Singer Clay Aiken's former American Idol opponent Ruben Studdard has endorsed the pop star's bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

In February (14), the singer formally announced his candidacy for the House of Representatives Democratic seat in North Carolina's second district, where he will go up against two-term Republican Congresswoman Renee Ellmers.

With the Democratic primary election scheduled for next week (06May14), Aiken turned to his celebrity pal, who beat him into second place on the reality Tv singing competition in 2003, for a campaign boost.

In a radio message, Studdard defends Aiken against recent political attacks from his opponents, saying, "I'm proud to call him my friend, but you'll be proud to call him your congressman.

"Now one of his opponents is attacking him for not showing up for some meetings. Truth is, Clay's dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities... Now Clay's foundation helps children with special needs in 35 states. That's the real Clay Aiken, and Congress needs more people like him."

Aiken adds, "We already have too many Washington (D.C.) politicians who will say anything to get elected. I'm running for Congress because I believe that public service should be about helping others. We need more people in Congress who believe that too."

If he wins over his fellow party supporters, Aiken will go up against Ellmers at the general election on 4 November (14).