2020 Presidential Candidates on D.C. Statehood
Michael Bennet | Joe Biden | Cory Booker | Steve Bullock | Pete Buttigieg | Julián Castro | Bill de Blasio | John Delaney | Tulsi Gabbard | Kirsten Gillibrand | Kamala Harris | John Hickenlooper | Jay Inslee | Amy Klobuchar | Wayne Messam | Seth Moulton | Beto O’Rourke | Tim Ryan | Bernie Sanders | Joe Sestak | Tom Steyer | Donald Trump | Elizabeth Warren | William Weld | Marianne Williamson | Andrew Yang
Michael Bennet (D)
Colorado U.S. Senator
MichaelBennet.com (6/20/19): “Make the District of Columbia a state.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Bennet pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
51for51 (7/12/19): “I do support D.C. becoming a state.”
Joe Biden (D)
Former U.S. Vice President
Iowans for D.C. Statehood (7/15/19): Biden said he would commit to work with Congress to get D.C. statehood.
Iowans for DC Statehood (5/1/19): Biden pictured with a D.C. Statehood pin.
DC press conference on national public infrastructure (1/17/15): “You should be a state.”
Mic (5/9/13): “There should be two Senators from the State of D.C.”
Cory Booker (D)
New Jersey U.S. Senator
Students for D.C. Statehood (7/17/19): “You students will play a big role in getting this done, keep up the work.”
Iowa Democratic Black Caucus Town Hall (4/16/19): “As a guy that was born in Washington, D.C., I fully support D.C. Statehood… Bigger than two states… To think about being an American that the federal government is actually the authority over where you live… and the federal government keeps telling them they can’t do it and they don’t have a vote or a say. I think I remember that there was a revolution about that. It’s called taxation without representation. You kind of remember some country had a revolution over those issues. I, as a guy who was born in D.C., has family in D.C., this is an issue I take very, very personally. And again what’s holding us back unfortunately is: the majority has the rights over the minority in this case. We’ve got to convince a legislature to pass D.C. statehood and it’s going to be hard to do… You have to understand, you’ve always got to take a step of empathy and understand what other people might think. The Republicans in the Senate will think to myself: Wait a minute – I want to give two more Democratic senators to this city? And so how do you do it? Understand when you’re at a negotiating table – I did this when I was a mayor negotiating – I put myself in the position of the person I’m trying to negotiate or work with to understand where they’re coming. So we’ve got to figure out – that will always be the logjam that will come down to it. We’ve got to figure out a strategy to get through that. It’s something I was talking directly with the Mayor at a new wonderful restaurant in Anacostia and I’m going to try to figure out a strategy to get those folks taxation with representation in the legislature.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/16/19): Booker held a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @CoryBooker (10/7/17): “I do support DC statehood. Have for years. I was born in DC and feel strongly about the issue.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Booker said he supports D.C. statehood.
Twitter @CoryBooker (2/21/14): “Why not today. I support it. MT @51stDC: One of these days we’ll get Cory Booker to tweet his thoughts on #DCStatehood”
Steve Bullock (D)
Pete Buttigieg (D)
South Bend, Indiana Mayor
PeteforAmerica.com: “Democracy means that U.S. citizens from Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico deserve political representation. True political representation for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The problems faced by people living in D.C. and Puerto Rico are no less important than the problems faced by U.S. citizens in our 50 states. Americans in the District of Columbia are entitled to a House member with voting power and two Senators. Puerto Rico should have immediate representation in the Electoral College, and if the people of Puerto Rico want statehood, that should be welcomed by the United States. We saw the direct consequences of Puerto Rico’s disenfranchisement with the Trump Administration’s disastrous denial of aid after Hurricane Maria — every citizen deserves a full voice.”
PeteforAmerica.com: “DC Statehood and Electoral College: We will give full political representation to the people of D.C. If it were a state, Washington, D.C. would have the highest proportion of Black citizens–approximately 50%–of any state. Indeed, it would be the only state in the union where Black Americans were not a racial minority. We need Congress to redefine the District of Columbia to include only government buildings in the city center and create a new state, “New Columbia,” from the remaining territory. This would give D.C.’s roughly 700,000 residents the full representation afforded to every state: one congressperson, two Senators, and three Electoral Votes. The newly redefined District of Columbia would still be entitled to three electoral votes by the 23rd Amendment, which we propose awarding to the winner of the National Popular Vote. This would eliminate the possibility of an Electoral College tie, which at present would allow Congress to decide the winner of a presidential election regardless of the popular vote.”
NBC (6/13/19): “I’m afraid we’re taking our democracy for granted, but right now, we’ve got a lot of work to do to make it easier to vote, to make it easier to register to vote, and to make sure that all of our votes count equally, which in my opinion means making sure that places like D.C. and Puerto Rico get to be states and making sure we get rid of the Electoral College so that a vote in Indiana counts the same as a vote in New York.”
51for51 (6/9/19): “Absolutely [supports D.C. becoming the 51st state].”
DC Vote (5/21/19): Buttigieg promised to keep talking about statehood across the country.
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/17/19): “Yes, D.C. ought to be a state. D.C. ought to… you’re fellow Americans, fellow U.S. citizens who lack political representation and it’s one of the things I’m getting at when I talk about why democracy ought to rise on our list of priorities. And the thing about democracy is: it’s an example of one of those things that’s always important, but never seemed urgent. Right? We always cared about it. I think most of us have always felt that it’s kind of wrong or strange to have some of these undemocratic qualities whether it’s the lack of D.C. statehood or money in politics or districts or whatever. It just never felt like one of the two or three top things we had to deal with because a lot of the times it feels like the house is on fire. And yet I think if 2016 taught us anything, it’s that we get terrible outcomes and we’ll continue to get terrible outcomes until we have our democracy repaired. And part of that, put very simply, is making sure that U.S. citizens have fair representation. Now there are partisan, political reasons that that is being blocked, but they’re not good reasons. Nobody has a good reason in principle for why a server at a restaurant who lives in an apartment in D.C. ought to be treated any differently than her counterpart in Des Moines or in South Bend. So I have not yet heard a remotely convincing moral argument, or even political argument, other than that, you know, one side that thinks it will make them worse off. I’m sorry, that’s not, that’s not an acceptable reason. And, by the way, I recently spoke with the Governor of Puerto Rico, where, you know, what happened to them in response to Hurricane Maria I think would never had happened if they had Electoral Votes on the U.S. Presidency. So you’ll hear a lot about that from me and we’re going to have to keep pushing. And again, it’s making sure it says high enough on the list that it actually gets action.”
Pete Buttigieg Campaign Announcement (4/14/19): “It’s nowhere near the democracy that I swore to protect with my life when U.S. citizens from Washington, D.C. to Puerto Rico don’t even have the same political representation as the rest of us.”
Pod Save America (3/1/19): “It’s OK to ask… whether the House has the right number of representatives or whether the U.S. has the right number of states, which by the way it doesn’t… D.C. for sure.”
Metrosource (2/12/19): “The first priority has to be democracy itself. I don’t think we’re going to be able to solve most of our major policy issues if we don’t first improve our political system where those issues come to get heard. That means everything from redistricting reform and addressing money in politics to making sure our democracy is more democratic by reconsidering the electoral college and looking at statehood for a place like D.C. and making sure people in the territories have equal rights. Every generation up until now has seen America grow more democratic, not less, and I don’t want ours to be the first where the reverse is true — but we’re on track for that if nothing changes.”
Twitter @PeteButtigieg (2/7/19): “Democracy is front and center right now, but some very important dimensions (like electoral college reform, DC statehood) get way too little attention. We must not become the first generation to see USA get less democratic versus more.”
Julián Castro (D)
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/15/19): Castro wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @JulianCastro (3/25/19): “Our nation succeeds when more Americans can participate in democracy. Important 1st steps: eliminate Electoral College, require independent redistricting, automatic/same-day voter reg, E-Day as a fed holiday, support DC statehood & self-determination for Puerto Rico”
Bill de Blasio (D)
New York City, New York Mayor
51for51 (6/23/19): “51st state – I believe, yes sir… You have been disenfranchised for too long. There’s an injustice in this country and it’s right in our Nation’s Capital. ”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/9/19): de Blasio said he supports D.C. statehood.
United State Conference of Mayors (6/27/16): de Blasio co-sponsored a resolution in support of Statehood for Washington, D.C.
John Delaney (D)
Former Maryland U.S. Representative
51for51 (6/9/19): “I kind of felt like I was representing D.C. a little bit when I was in the Congress because I was like I know all these great folks in D.C. and they don’t have kind of a voice so I would always try to include them in my like town halls and stuff like that so, you know, I actually think, you know, they should, of course they should… I want D.C. to be a state so I will do anything I can.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/7/19): Delaney held a D.C. statehood pin.
Washington Post (11/20/18): “I’m entirely supportive of [statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico]. It’s ridiculous that citizens in D.C. don’t get full voting rights. You can put a ‘taxation without representation’ sticker on my bus.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (2/15/18): After being questioned on whether he would remain a supporter of D.C. statehood if elected president, Delaney responded that he would not be an active supporter and that he did not think it would happen anytime soon.
PR51st: “John Delaney, a former Congressman, is openly supporting statehood for both Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.”
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
Hawaii U.S. Representative
Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
New York U.S. Senator
51for51 (6/22/19): Gillibrand supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/9/19): Gillibrand said she supports D.C. statehood.
Twitter @SenGillibrand (5/20/19): “Democracy doesn’t mean “for some of us.” It’s time for Washington, DC to have statehood and equal representation in Congress, and we should only need a simple majority to make it happen.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Gillibrand said she supports D.C. statehood.
Kamala Harris (D)
California U.S. Senator
John Hickenlooper (D)
Former Colorado Governor
Jay Inslee (D)
51for51 (7/13/19): “We’re going to get you statehood! Yes, I have [supported D.C. statehood] for a long time.”
51for51 (6/9/19): Inslee supports statehood and the 51 for 51 campaign.
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/4/19): Inslee held a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @JayInslee (5/21/19): “Kill the filibuster. Statehood for DC. Climate action for all.”
Twitter @JayInslee (4/16/19): “I supported D.C. statehood as a freshman congressman in 1993. I still support it today. We must make sure that D.C. has full representation in our democracy. Happy D.C. Emancipation Day.”
We the People (4/1/19): “Now I also ought to believe – we got about 600,000-700,000 people right here in the Nation’s Capital that don’t have a vote. That’s ridiculous. They got to get a vote as well.”
Washington Post (4/1/19): “Inslee supports statehood for Washington, D.C., he told The Post.”
Vox (3/1/19): “I’ve always supported statehood for Puerto Rico and DC. People have got to have representation — 700,000 people in the District of Columbia is as large as Wyoming.”
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Minnesota U.S. Senator
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/13/19): Klobuchar held a D.C. statehood pin.
We the People Summit (4/1/19): “I am proud to support statehood for Washington, D.C. I don’t think you should have a big group of people that don’t have anyone to represent them in Congress. And it’s that simple. It means that you have many, many people that actually don’t have a say over these important federal policies that influence their lives every day. So I think the most important thing to getting it done – because as you know President Obama would’ve gotten it done – but I think the most important thing in getting it done, as you’ve already done it for us by taking back the House of Representatives. Right? So guess what else we have to do? Take back the United States Senate that’s exactly right. And so if we have a coalition – and I view this, one of the things that I’ve always seen, I come from the state of Paul Wellstone, right, who saw politics as improving people’s lives, who was a mentor to me, a friend to me, always out there in that green bus advocating for people. And he’d say he went to Washington for the people that didn’t have representation like the kids that couldn’t write the checks in their high chairs. And I think that’s exactly what’s going on right here, so what we need to do is to make it a major priority, and it’s about D.C. It’s also about people who aren’t represented, right, like getting Puerto Rico their money for that horrible damage that they had this storm. It is also about voting rights and look what’s been going on since the Supreme Court stepped in and took back a big chuck of that Voting Rights Act. You see what’s happened in so many of these states. One great example of that: North Carolina where the circuit court said they actually had discriminated with – and this is an exact quote – “surgical precision.” Right? That’s what’s happening in our country to African Americans, that’s what’s happening to Latinos, to so many people that have a right to have a say at the table. Because what they always say in Washington is if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (7/22/17): Klobuchar said she supports D.C. statehood.
Wayne Messam (D)
Miramar, Florida Mayor
Seth Moulton (D)
Massachusetts U.S. Representative
SethMoulton.com: “We need a New Voting Rights Act in America. That means… Statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Moulton pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
New York Times (4/22/19):“Mr. Moulton revealed a broad plan to overhaul the nation’s elections, including… granting statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.”
CNN (3/26/19): “Moulton revealed the plan — which includes… statehood for Washington, DC and Puerto Rico — to CNN”
Beto O’Rourke (D)
Former Texas U.S. Representative
Instagram @betoorourke (6/5/19): “Washington, D.C. should be a state. There are more people living in Washington, D.C. than in I think three other states. Washington, D.C. should have two U.S. Senators – should have Representatives in the House who can vote, can move legislation, can ensure that their constituents’ voice is heard, and that their will is acted upon.”
Alexandria Town Hall (4/17/19): “For our friends who made the trip from our Nation’s Capital, future State of Washington, D.C., we are grateful that you made the trip.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/9/19): O’Rourke wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Washington Post (4/1/19): “O’Rourke supports D.C. statehood, he told The Post.”
Tim Ryan (D)
Ohio U.S. Representative
Iowans for DC Statehood (7/14/19): Ryan pictured with Iowans for DC Statehood.
51for51 (6/9/19): “Sure, yeah. Why not? We’ll get the Senate back and we’ll add about ten states and then we’ll be alright.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/7/19): Ryan wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Bernie Sanders (D)
Vermont U.S. Senator
Voted in favor of D.C. statehood through Roll Call 595 (11/21/93)
D.C. statehood co-sponsor of S. 631 (2019-2021), S. 1278 (2017-2019), S. 1688 (2015-2017), S. 132 (2013-2015), & H.R. 51 (1993-1995) – not S. 3696 (2011-2013), H.R. 51 (1995-1997), H.R. 2482/H.R. 4718 (1991-1993)
Twitter @BernieSanders (6/17/19): “Mitch McConnell thinks that allowing the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to become states is “socialism.” Well, that’s another reason why I’m a proud Democratic Socialist.”
Twitter @BernieSanders (2/25/19): “I strongly support statehood for Washington DC. #SandersTownHall”
CNN (2/25/19): “And you pay taxes. And your young people serve in the military. Well I think it would be – I come from one of the smallest states in America, only about 620,000 people in the beautiful state of Vermont. It would be – I would be a little hypocritical to suggest that Washington, D.C. shouldn’t become a state and I strongly support statehood for D.C. This is a political issue – it’s political. It’s hard to argue with the facts that the gentleman raised. People pay taxes, they live here, the size of this community is larger than some states. Why don’t they have senators and a member in the House? The answer is, not shockingly, is the Republicans kind of guess that this will be two Democratic senators given the fact that this city consistently votes overwhelmingly Democratic. That’s the opposition right there. I hope – I hope that my Republican colleagues do the right thing. People here are entitled to representation in Washington.”
CNN (6/11/16): “I think it is morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full congressional representation. I hope that the next time I’m back we’re going to be talking about the state of Washington, D.C.”
Facebook @berniesanders (6/10/16): “I am strongly in favor of D.C. Statehood. The state of Vermont, which I represent, has about the same number of residents that Washington, D.C. has except we have two United States Senators and one Congressman with full rights while D.C. does not. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Instagram @berniesanders (6/9/16): “I hope that very soon we’ll be talking about the state of Washington, D.C.”
C-SPAN (06/06/16): “The major point I will be making to the citizens of the District of Columbia is that I am strongly in favor of D.C. statehood. The state of Vermont, which I represent, has about the same number of residents that Washington, D.C. has, except we have two United States senators and one congressman with full rights while D.C. does not. That does not make any sense.”
C-SPAN (11/20/93): “The only problem I have with this whole discourse is I think the gentlelady made a mistake in not yielding 98% of her time to the opposition. Because I think they need all of that time and a lot more time to make anything that sounds like a rational case against the right of Washington, D.C. to become a state. Mr. Speaker, I am enormously proud to represent the very great state of Vermont. A state which has a magnificent history, a state which in my view is one of the most beautiful states in this country and a state which today is making a major contribution to the well-being of this country in so many respects. And we are doing all of that and much more with a population of less than 600,000, a population smaller than that of Washington, D.C. Mr. Speaker, how could I in good conscience say that it is appropriate for Vermont to have two seats in the Senate, which we do, to have a congressman who can vote on all of the issues, which we do, to have a governor and a state legislature which deals with all of the problems facing our people, which we do, and then say that the people of the District of Columbia, with a population larger than Vermont’s and larger than some other states should not be able to enjoy the same rights? I could not make that case. It would not be a fair case. It would not be a rational argument. Mr. Speaker this debate is about one thing and one thing alone. That is whether the people of Washington, D.C. are entitled to be full citizens of this country or whether they are not entitled to be full citizens. To me the answer is obvious and I intend to vote yes for statehood for the District of Columbia.”
Joe Sestak (D)
Former Pennsylvania U.S. Representative
Tom Steyer (D)
No known stance on D.C. statehood.
Donald Trump (R)
President of the United States
Washington Post (3/21/16): “I think statehood is a tough thing for D.C. I think it’s a tough thing. I don’t have a position on it yet. I would form a position. But I think statehood is a tough thing for D.C…. I think it’s just something that I don’t think I’d be inclined to do. I’d like to study it. It’s not a question really – maybe Chuck didn’t ask me like you’re asking me – I don’t see statehood for D.C… I think that’s something that would be okay. Having representation would be okay.”
NBC (8/16/15): “I would like to do whatever is good for the District of Columbia because I love the people. You know, it’s funny. I’ve really gotten to know the people, the representatives, and the mayor, and everybody. They’re really special people. They’re great. And they have a great feeling. So I would say whatever’s best for them, I’m for… I mean, people are talking about that. I’d look at it. I’d certainly look at it.”
Elizabeth Warren (D)
Massachusetts U.S. Senator
ElizabethWarren.com: “Sign Our Petition: Support D.C. Statehood: It isn’t fair for more than 700,000 Americans to be without a vote in Congress. That’s why Elizabeth will keep fighting to make D.C. a state. Add your name if you agree: It’s time to make D.C. our 51st state.”
DC Vote (7/13/19): “I’m with ya!”
51for51 (6/9/19): “I have [supported D.C. statehood]… for a long time.”
Washington Post (4/1/19): “We should admit DC as the 51st state, Warren told The Post.”
Twitter @ewarren (3/11/19): “DC residents don’t have an equal voice in our government—despite paying federal taxes. It’s not right, and I’m fighting to change that.”
The New Yorker (3/10/19): “It matters… Here’s an example. In 2017, when Republicans tried to rip away health care from millions of Americans, including tens of thousands of people in D.C., Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton didn’t have a vote. This is not right. The right to vote is at the heart of our democracy… A Republican-led Congress has actually overturned laws that the people of the District of Columbia have determined through the democratic process that they want… It’s not simply that American citizens aren’t getting representation. They’re actually being rolled over by a Republican-led Congress that wants to make their own decisions about how the people of D.C. should live… The argument is that, if American citizens get to vote, then the Senate might be more progressive… Yes! That’s right. The Senate might be more responsive to American citizens. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.”
Twitter @ewarren (1/28/19): “700,000 people is more than the populations of Wyoming or Vermont. But DC residents don’t have an equal voice in our government – despite paying federal taxes. Sign our petition if you agree we need to make DC the 51st state.”
Warren campaign email (1/11/19): “Now that Democrats are back in charge, the House is getting ready to vote to make D.C. a state. And Elizabeth Warren will keep fighting to make sure it becomes law. D.C. residents pay federal taxes, serve in the military, and live under the laws set by Congress. Elizabeth supports D.C. statehood. You deserve full rights and representation in the House and Senate. Now we need to keep fighting to pass D.C. statehood and make sure people keep paying attention. Sign our petition to show your support: Give D.C. two senators and a House member and make it the 51st state. Everyone in American should have an equal voice in our government. But the nearly 700,000 people in who live in D.C. – greater than the populations of Wyoming or Vermont – cant fully participate in debates in Congress that shape your future. In 2017, when Republicans’ health care repeal bills would have ripped away health care from tens of thousands of people in D.C., residents could call Rep. Elanor Homes Norton – but she didn’t have a floor vote. And without statehood, Congress has had the power to block the laws D.C. passes for itself, allowing them to stop the implementation of legislation recognizing domestic partnerships, providing abortion services, and legalizing medical marijuana in the District. D.C. statehood gets at the heart of our democracy. It’s one of the principles we founded our country on: No taxation without representation. Elizabeth knows that our democracy is at its strongest when everyone can make their voice heard. Add your name if you agree: It’s time to pass D.C. statehood.”
Students for D.C. Statehood (6/7/17): Warren said she supports D.C. statehood
William Weld (R)
Former Massachusetts Governor
Marianne Williamson (D)
Iowans for DC Statehood (6/29/19): Williamson supports D.C. statehood.
CNN (4/14/19): “In terms of D.C., of course you should have representation. I think when the founders said that D.C. should not have representation they simply did not foresee a time when the kind of population in D.C. would exist as it does now. Absolutely D.C. should have representation.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/9/19): Williamson wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Shadow Politics (4/7/19): Williamson was interviewed about D.C. Statehood by D.C. Shadow Senator Michael Brown and Maria Sanchez.
Washington Post (4/1/19): “Williamson supports statehood for Washington, D.C., she told The Post.”
Andrew Yang (D)
Yang2020.com: “Washington, DC, has a population larger than two states, and yet it is not considered a state. This deprives residents of equal representation in the federal government, lacking both Representatives and Senators to promote their interests. And yet, they still pay taxes, truly being an example of taxation without representation. The residents of Washington, DC, should be afforded the same representation as other Americans, and it should be admitted as a State. To resolve any constitutional issues, an area of land containing the important federal buildings could be carved out and defined as the capital/Washington, DC. As President, I will… Work with Congress to admit Washington, DC, to the union as a state, with equal representation.”
51for51 (6/9/19): “I totally do [support statehood]. I am committed to doing everything possible to make sure that we can clear the path to statehood… We have to do everything possible to make sure you guys get the 51st state.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/27/19): Yang wore a D.C. statehood pin.
Twitter @AndrewYang (4/15/19): “New Policy # 19 – Statehood for Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in the shadow of our nation’s capital pay taxes every year without any federal representation. It’s overdue – we should make D.C. a state.”
CNN (4/14/19): “You can tell that’s going to be a popular question here in D.C. But I’m 100% for D.C. statehood. You should’ve been a state a long time ago.”
Twitter @AndrewYang (12/23/18): “Agree with this. Would support statehood for DC.”
Richard Ojeda (D)
Former West Virginia State Senator
No known stance on D.C. statehood.
Eric Swalwell (D)
California U.S. Representative
51for51 (6/9/19): “I do [support statehood].”
Washington Post (5/6/19): “Swalwell supports statehood for Washington, D.C., he told The Post.”
Iowans for DC Statehood (4/27/19): Swalwell wore a D.C. statehood pin.