SC governor candidates debate higher education

ROCK HILL, SC - ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - Gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley says South Carolina's colleges need to give up independent boards so the state can afford its college system.

Republican Rep. Haley was one of six candidates from both parties who debated higher education issues Tuesday at Winthrop University.

Democratic state Education Superintendent Jim Rex says the state needs to raise its cigarette tax to lift college budgets that are now operating at 1984 levels.

But Republican Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said he could only support increasing the state's cigarette tax if that money was used to lower the state's income tax.

Four Republicans and three Democrats are seeking their party's nominations in the June 8 primary in bids to replace Gov. Mark Sanford.

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