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Arizona Sanders Backers Say Bernie Deserves To Stay In The Race

bernie sanders rally
(Photo by Carrie Jung - KJZZ)
A large crowd of supporters gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center to hear Bernie Sanders speak earlier this year.

Despite Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee for President as a result of Tuesday’s primaries, Arizona backers of Bernie Sanders say their candidate deserves a chance to stay in the race.

Congressman Raul Grijalva of Tucson told NPR’s Morning Edition Wednesday that Sanders earned that right by garnering nearly 45 percent of the Democratic vote this primary season.

“That message and the person himself and his supporters, I think, merit an opportunity at the convention to be there, to have their day in the sun," said Grijalva, a Democrat.

Meanwhile in Washington, Bernie Sanders emerged from a meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday vowing to work with primary rival Hillary Clinton to defeat Republican Donald Trump in the general election.

But Sanders, speaking to reporters at the White House, stopped short of endorsing Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee. He said he hoped to meet with Clinton soon to discuss their common goal.

"Needless to say, I am going to do everything in my power and I will work as hard as I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States," he said.

On the Republican side, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake told reporters this week that Donald Trump’s recent remarks about the Mexican ancestry of a federal judge in Indiana could trigger a challenge to the presumptive GOP nominee at the convention in July.

Arizona Republican party chairman Robert Graham confirmed today that Trump will return to the Valley on June 18th. Details and venue are still being worked out.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Phil Latzman is an award-winning digital journalist and broadcast professional with over 25 years of experience covering news and sports on a multitude of platforms.