SC court to take up primary challenge

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The South Carolina Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for a challenge of the first-in-the-South presidential primary brought by four counties worried about picking up the contest's tab.

The court on Thursday set a Nov. 14 hearing date.

Beaufort, Chester, Greenville and Spartanburg counties sued the state Election Commission last month saying that South Carolina lacks the authority to conduct the presidential contest.

The suit also says the state will be forcing counties to pick up costs of running the primary.

The commission estimates the primary will cost about $1.5 million. But counties say they paid more than $1 million in unreimbursed costs during the 2008 presidential primary.

The state Republican Party is raising money and charging candidates filing fees and says it will reimburse counties for reasonable costs.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.