Carson announces support for Puerto Rican statehood

GOP Presidential candidate declared his support for Puerto Rican statehood on Sunday while on a campaign trip to the island.

"I stand with our American brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico in unequivocal support of statehood for Puerto Rico and call on Congress to address this issue immediately," Carson said in a statement originally released in Spanish. "In a Carson administration, I will leave no stone unturned in my efforts to secure this important step in Puerto Rico's history — establishing estado 51."

While Puerto Rico does not have electoral votes in the general election, they do participate in an early primary, on March 1st. Additionally, many Puerto Rican citizens have immigrated to the U.S., congregating in key voting states such as Florida and New York. As a result, numerous presidential hopefuls have made trips to the U.S. territory in an attempt to win over Hispanic voters.

In the GOP primary, Carson, who ranks second in the Washington Examiner's presidential power rankings, joins both Marco Rubio and Jeb bush in the call for Puerto Rican statehood. Democratic candidates Martin O'Malley and Hillary Clinton have also made trips to the U.S. territory to show support for their bid for statehood.

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