Aiken is running for the House of Representatives seat in the state's second district.
If he wins, he will unseat second-term Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers.
Aiken announced his candidacy in a video, saying he is a Democrat, but he mentioned his work with the Bush administration. He also talked about his childhood, saying the struggles he experienced as a child also contributed to his decision to run.
"For most Americans, there are no golden tickets — at least not like the kind you see on TV," Aiken said. "More families are struggling today than at any time in our history, and here in North Carolina, we've suffered more than our share of pain."
Aiken was the runner-up on the second season of "American Idol, and his debut album "Measure of a Man" reached multi-platinum status. Aiken has launched ten national concert tours, authored a New York Times best-selling memoir, "Learning to Sing: Hearing the Music in Your Life," and released several albums. Aiken made his Broadway debut as Sir Robin in the Tony Award-winning production of Spamalot in 2008. He also starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at The Ogunquit Playhouse.