Keith Crisco, pop singer Clay Aiken's opponent in a too-close-to-call Democratic congressional primary in North Carolina, died suddenly Monday in an apparent accident.

The Courier-Tribune, an Asheboro, N.C., news outlet, reported that Crisco, a prominent local businessman, died after he "suffered injuries from a fall" at his home. He was 71.

Crisco, who founded Asheboro Elastics Corp., had served as state secretary of commerce and on the Asheboro City Council before declaring his intention to run for Congress.

He ran a tight race with Aiken, a former runner-up on the television show "American Idol," and on Monday the outcome of the primary was still too close to call, with Aiken leading Crisco by fewer than 400 votes.

Aiken will likely now be the Democrat to take on Rep. Renee Ellmers, the heavily favored Republican incumbent.