Dan Andrews of Knox County, Tennessee, asked his congressional candidates whether they supported statehood for Puerto Rico with a tweet.
“Do you and/or will you support making Puerto Rico the 51st State?” Dan tweeted. Candidate Tim Burchett answered, “No.” This is not a thoughtful response, but we find no statement or explanation from Burchett.
Burchett, Emert, and Matlock are major Republican candidates for Tennessee’s District 2. Another candidate , Vito A. Sagliano, responded, “As long as they support it, why should they not be accepted, being a US Territory?”
Later in the discussion, Sagliano expanded on his answer. “PR, & any US Territory that have the people’s vote should be given proper statehood, & representation. It’s easy to give excuses, when we need to stand up for what’s right.”
Candidate Jason Emert did not respond. However, he is active in the Young Republicans, an organization which supports statehood for Puerto Rico. Emert served as Executive Director of a bipartisan delegation of observers at the June 11 plebiscite last year and accompanied the governor to an event at the National Press Club.
We have found no statements from Jimmy Matlock on the subject.
We appreciate Dan Andrews for asking this question. Social media has given us opportunities to communicate directly with candidates more than ever.
Ask your districts’ candidates their positions! Then share the results with us and we will help to spread the word. We would like to see candidates’ positions on statehood for Puerto Rico become an issue in every midterm election this year. This is an issue that affects the entire country, as well as the 3.5 million U.S. citizens living in Puerto Rico.