Republican presidential candidate John Kasich admitted on Wednesday he's opposed to granting the District of Columbia statehood because it would give Democrats more votes in Congress.
Kasich, who voted against granting D.C. statehood while he was in Congress, said Wednesday he was "probably" still against it.
"I just don’t see that we really need that, okay? I don’t know. I don’t think so," Kasich told The Washington Post's editorial board. "Well look, I am not – I don’t – I am not, because you know what, what it really gets down to if you want to be honest is because they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party."
Residents of the District of Columbia pay federal taxes but have no voting members of Congress. They are represented in the House by Eleanor Holmes Norton, who does not have a vote.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said last week she wants to put statehood on the ballot later this year, but even if it were to pass, Congress would have to make the final determination.
When asked whether he would consider giving D.C. statehood if there were more Republicans living there, Kasich softened his stance and didn't seem exactly opposed. According to data through March 31 from the D.C. Board of Elections, 75.98 percent of residents in the District are registered Democrats while 6.29 percent are Republicans.
"Yeah, okay, well look, they send me a bill, I’m president of the United States, I’ll read your editorials," he said. " I don’t know. I’d have to look at it. I’ll look at your editorials, whatever. Fair is fair. You’ve got a point there," he added later in the interview.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he's open to D.C. statehood.