Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine defended his choice of receiving a Buick Enclave valued at $35,659 that came at the expense of taxpayers.
The vehicle includes leather seats and chrome wheels along with a satellite audio/video system that added $1,859 to the cost, Watchdog10's Paul Aker reported.
"I'm going to drive that car as long as I am Attorney General, whether that's three more years or however long that is," DeWine said.
When DeWine, a Republican, first took office in 2011, he drove a 2008 Chevrolet Impala. Then, he moved up to a 2011 Impala that cost $19,000 before switching to the Enclave, Aker reported.
Watchdog10 peeked into state garages to figure out what the state's elected leaders are driving and how much taxpayers paid for their vehicles.
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican, stands out as the bargain hunter of the group. Instead of buying a car when he took over, he said he sold three of his vehicles.
Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted drives a Ford hybrid that he inherited from the last administration, Aker reported.
State Auditor Dave Yost worked out a deal on a 2010 Ford Explorer that had a $34,000 sticker price. After trade and a rebate, Ohio taxpayers spent $20,361 for the Republican's travel. Yost's spokeswoman said that he drives the entire state so the new SUV were needed to replace the old car because it was nearing 100,000 miles.
Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who now serves as Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, drove his personal car when he was an elected Ohio official. In rare cases, he took a pool car, a source told Watchdog10.
DeWine stressed that his Buick Enclave was a used vehicle and had about 20,000 miles when he took it over.
"I drive all over the state so I put a lot of miles on the car," DeWine said. "I spend a lot of time in the car (and) almost use the car as a mobile office."
DeWine said the spending on his vehicle will prove to be an efficient plan and the best use of government money.
Gov. John Kasich received chauffeured transportation from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. According to his office, the Republican did not buy a car for himself after he was sworn in.