Officials: Additional $500k needed for SCGOP primary

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina election officials don't yet know where they'll get an additional $500,000 to run next month's first-in-the-South presidential primary. But they assure voters the contest will occur.

Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Tuesday his agency has notified the state budget office it won't have enough money to run the Jan. 21 contest.

The state Republican Party said Monday it won't contribute any money beyond the $180,000 it collected in candidates' filing fees. The primary is expected to cost $1.5 million. With those fees, the state agency expects to have $1 million on hand.

The state GOP had previously agreed to pay the balance. But that was before four counties sued over their costs. The Supreme Court ruled last month the state and counties were responsible for the contest.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.