Dem SC gov hopefuls say tax hikes can aid budget

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Two of the three Democrats who want to be South Carolina's next governor would use tax increases to help ease a looming budget crisis. The third says the fix is simple: Just allow video poker and tax it.

State Sen. Robert Ford says he wants to fix the budget with gambling. State Education Superintendent Jim Rex and state Sen. Vincent Sheheen say the state should consider tax increases such as raising the sales tax cap on cars.

The three candidates in the June 8 primary want a chance to replace term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford when he leaves office in January.

By then, large budget problems will loom. Lawmakers say the state could have as much as a $1 billion spending gap as federal bailout cash disappears.

Four Republicans are running in the GOP primary.

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