(CNN) – The first line of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's campaign biography boasts the Democratic governor is "the son of a steelworker" who "never imagined he'd be able to go to college."
Indeed, Strickland's humble upbringing is just the type campaigns love to highlight, and never more so during an economic climate that still hasn't shown signs for recovery for many Ohioans.
But the campaign of Strickland's Republican opponent -former U.S. Rep. John Kasich – is causing a stir for attacking the same simple origins Strickland celebrates.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said in a statement Tuesday Strickland is a poor manager of Ohio's cities because the Democrat was raised "in a chicken shack on Duck Run."
Nichols' statement came after Strickland's running mate, Yvette Brown, said in a recent speech, "Ted didn't grow up in city, but he fights for our cities every day."
"Not until Ted Strickland feared needing their votes did he give urban Ohioans a second thought. Having grown up in a chicken shack on Duck Run, he has all but ignored our cities' economies and their workers," Nichols said in the statement responding to Brown's speech.
Strickland's campaign seized on the slap at Strickland's upbringing, saying, "Only the Congressman from Wall Street would be so out of touch as to insult Ted's humble upbringing."
"While Congressman Kasich may have spent a lot of time in boardrooms at Lehman Brothers and rubbing elbows with lobbyists at cocktail parties in Washington, Ohioans are looking for a Governor who will represent their values-and clearly that is not John Kasich," spokesman Lis Smith said.
Nichols has since said he did not mean his comments as an insult, but Strickland's campaign has organized a conference call later Wednesday with "representatives from rural and Appalachian Ohio" to take aim at the comments.
UPDATE: Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine, speaking in Cleveland Wednesday, also took a hit at the comments.
“I noticed that the other campaign yesterday ridiculed him for ‘growing up in a chicken shack on Duck Run Ohio,’” said Kaine. “I’m don’t know why they though that’s a bad thing, but maybe that’s how it looks from the perspective of a Lehman Brothers consultant.”