Rick Scott: Puerto Rico should get statehood

Rick Scott: Puerto Rico should get statehood

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Tuesday announced his support for Puerto Rican statehood, saying the U.S. should listen to the territory's voters. 

The Associated Press reported that Scott said the U.S. should “respect the will of the people of Puerto Rico," referring to a referendum held there on statehood last year. 

Over half a million of the island's voters said they supported statehood. 

The Florida governor is challenging Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D) in November.


Scott campaigned on Tuesday in Kissimmee, Fla., which is the epicenter of the state's Puerto Rican population. 

Thousands of displaced Puerto Ricans moved to Florida following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year and will likely play an important role in the upcoming election.

Puerto Rico Delegate Jenniffer González-Colón (R) endorsed Scott at a rally on Tuesday, praising his commitment to the island in the hurricane's aftermath. 

“Governor Rick Scott has been a consistent leader, supporter and advocate for the Puerto Rican community and for our families both on the island and here in Florida. He made a commitment to help our community even before Hurricane Maria made landfall and has truly followed through, which is something we need more of in Washington,” González-Colón said, according to Florida Politics.

Scott has traveled to Puerto Rico five times since the hurricane hit, which left numerous people dead and the island virtually without power.