The hot-button issue of D.C. statehood has picked up another endorsement from a Democrat running for the White House.
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg publicly announced that he supports the idea, saying he hopes he’ll be able to call D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser “Gov. Bowser.”
“I do think the time has come for D.C. to become a state with full voting rights,” Bloomberg said. “As president, I’ll work with Congress to make that happen.”
The former New York City mayor made a stop in D.C. on Wednesday to speak in front of the United States Conference of Mayors, which draws hundreds of mayors to the District every winter.
All of the top-polling Democrats in the presidential race have previously voiced support for the idea of making D.C. the nation’s 51st state. They include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.
It is not clear where Republican President Donald Trump stands on the issue.
Support for D.C. statehood has been growing on Capitol Hill over the past year, with advocates pointing to the fact that people who live in the District pay taxes but do not have anyone representing them in Congress.
While the District has electoral votes in presidential elections, it does not have voting representatives in the U.S. House or Senate.
Last March, the House approved a bill that endorsed the idea of D.C. statehood, marking the first time that either chamber of Congress had passed such a measure.
Then, in September, a House committee held the first congressional hearing in more than 25 years on whether D.C. should become a state.
“For the first time in a generation, there is real and sustained momentum on this effort,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s nonvoting representative in Congress. “This would fulfill the promise of democracy for more than 700,000 Americans who call Washington, D.C. their home.”
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