Self-styled “Independent Republican” Tom Ervin has officially qualified for the November 4, 2014 general election ballot as a petition candidate for governor – throwing one of two possible wrenches into the reelection plans of incumbent “Republican” Nikki Haley.

The other wrench?  The Libertarian candidacy of Steve French – a Lowcountry small businessman pushing a fiscally conservative platform staunchly at odds with Haley’s record on taxesspendingeducation and (most notably) government-subsidized health care.

Ervin’s campaign released a letter from S.C. Election Commission (SCEC) indicating his campaign had been “verified to contain a sufficient number of valid signatures.”

“By way of this petition, you are now a certified candidate for Governor,” the letter states.

Ervin – a former state lawmaker and circuit court judge – said his campaign against “career politicians” would give South Carolina voters another option this fall.  In fact both he and French have indicated they favor doing away with the state’s individual income tax – a sharp contrast with Haley’s position.

“South Carolinians have made it clear that they want another choice this November – one that is not a career politician,” Ervin said. “Now we can have a conversation about repealing the personal income tax, removing Common Core, fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, growing an inclusive economy for all and passing meaningful ethics reform. Our state government is broken – it has been corrupted by special interests and outside money. We have common sense solutions that career politicians fear.”

Recent polling shows Haley enjoying a thirteen point lead over Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen – although with Ervin and French on that ballot, Haley’s lead drops to four percent.

Ervin has vowed to spend big bucks to get his message to voters … and if he (or French) can exploit vulnerabilities on Haley’s badly exposed ideological right flank, the governor could find herself in the middle of a “perfect (electoral) storm.”