BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane has agreed to participate in his first series of political debates since he was elected 16 years ago, but he disputes accusations that he purposefully evaded challengers.

Campaign manager Ken Burgess says Crane has never faced a GOP primary opponent while in office. He also says Crane's former general election opponents weren't legitimate candidates and failed to meet requirements set by debate hosts. This year, Crane is facing Democratic candidate Deborah Silver, an accountant, in the general election.

Their first debate is Oct. 9. Legislative auditors concluded in January that Crane's office conducted inappropriate money transfers that cost taxpayers millions of dollars beginning in 2008. Crane's office vehemently denies the report's findings.