GOP SC gov candidates urge budget fix using cuts

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Republicans vying to become South Carolina's next governor say there's room to cut taxes when they take office even though the state is in the midst of a massive budget crisis.

U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, state Rep. Nikki Haley and state Attorney General Henry McMaster say the state should consider cutting taxes mostly for business and property owners. They believe the cuts will improve the economy.

The four candidates in the June 8 primary want a chance to replace term-limited GOP 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 in July 2011.

Three Democrats are running for their party's nomination.

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