California Treasurer Bill Lockyer will have an opponent in November.

Orange County Republican Mimi Waters, a state senator, announced Wednesday that she is running for treasurer. She is the first announced challenger for Lockyer.

The Hayward Democrat cruised into the treasurer’s office in 2006, easily defeating a GOP candidate, Claude Parrish, who came off more as a gadfly than a serious candidate.

Lockyer appears to be a formidable incumbent: he has a $10 million campaign war chest that he didn’t need to touch in 2006, as well as statewide name recognition following two terms as attorney general and two decades in the Legislature, many of them in leadership roles.

Walters, a state lawmaker for five years, indicated that she will position herself as an outsider.

“Yesterday’s politicians have proven they cannot fix today’s problems,” she said in a news release. “We need to clean house in Sacramento before we can get our financial house in order.”

Walters’ state Senate seat is not up for election this year, so she effectively has a free pass to run for statewide office — she’ll be back in Sacramento next year win or lose.

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