- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Two Democratic candidates spurred by a recent political scandal in the Idaho Treasurer’s Office hope to oust four-term incumbent Ron Crane.

The treasurer’s race is one of only two statewide political contests for the Democratic party, the other being the governor’s race. Crane faces no challenger in the May 20 primary election.

The Democratic primary candidates are Deborah Silver, an accountant from Twin Falls, and W. Lane Startin of Boise, who works as a freelance writer.

Both opponents said they entered the race after legislative auditors reported in January that Crane’s office inappropriately transferred investments. The auditors said the transfers cost taxpayers at least $10 million and could result in a total loss of $27 million.

Silver is a former auditor for a national accounting firm in Boise and used to teach accounting at the College of Southern Idaho. She is currently a partner with her husband at a Twin Falls accounting firm.

Startin has experience working with a credit card processing gateway and was an insurance agent licensed to sell and maintain mutual funds and other financial products.

The treasurer serves as Idaho’s chief financial officer and manages $2.7 billion of state investments. The treasurer is also in charge of investing idle state funds and acts as the custodian for worker’s compensation insurance securities and the Endowment Public School Income Fund.

Crane won the post in 1998 after defeating two candidates in the GOP primary election. He then won the general election against a third-party candidate with 75 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 2002 and 2006 - winning more than 60 percent of the vote in both general elections - and ran unopposed for his fourth term in 2010.