CLEVELAND -- Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald is criticizing a state campaign promoting Ohio's economy as a political "waste of state funds."
FitzGerald's remarks will strike many as sounding like those of a possible challenger to Governor John Kasich in 2014.
JobsOhio, the state's private economic development agency, is reportedly spending $1.4 million on the campaign.
There is a TV commercial and full-page newspaper ads in both Ohio and national publications.
The ads ask Ohio companies and workers to tell their own stories, fitting in with a Thrive in Ohio message.
Ohio's 6.9 percent October unemployment rate is below the national average and the lowest it's been in four years.
FitzGerald wrote the Governor, saying, "The ads are an improper waste of state funds and seem intended to boost your gubernatorial re-election effort rather than actually help with economic development here-in-state..I hope you wil consider immediately discontinuing this waste of taxpayer dollars and dispelling the impression you are using state resources for your re-election effort."
Kasich does not appear in the ads.
His spokesman Rob Nichols said, "The job of JobsOhio is to promote the state, just like the Department of Development did before it under both Democrat and Republican administrations, and just like it will continue to do under future administrations."
The ads will spark renewed debate about who deserves the most credit for Ohio's job growth, the Governor or President Obama.
FitzGerald is expected to announce his intentions about a possible gubernatorial campaign soon.