Sanders concedes Missouri primary to Clinton to ‘save taxpayers of Missouri some money’

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo.– Bernie Sanders won’t request a recount after narrowly losing the Missouri primary election to Hillary Clinton, a spokesman for the Vermont senator told CNN on Thursday.

“I prefer to save the taxpayers of Missouri some money,” Sanders said through spokesman Michael Briggs.

Clinton led Sanders by 1,531 votes, or by just 0.2 percent–49.6 to 49.4–though some absentee votes still need to be counted.

The announcement means Clinton swept all five states that voted in Tuesday night’s primaries.

Briggs noted that Sanders split the delegates almost evenly with Clinton in Missouri and Illinois, though the former secretary of state won handily in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

“His focus now is on the second half of the delegate selection process. He’s looking forward to Arizona, Idaho and Utah next Tuesday and moving on to other important states including Wisconsin, New York and California,” Briggs said in an email. “He’s taking the contest all the way to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.”

This brings Clinton’s total number of wins to 17; Sanders has won nine primaries so far.

The Republican race in Missouri remains up-in-the-air. CNN reports that Donald Trump is 0.2 percent ahead of Ted Cruz, and that John Kasich is trailing far behind in third.