Police: State representative candidate assaulted over campaign ad dispute

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

State rep candidate assaulted over campaign ad

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A St. Henry man has been arrested and charged for allegedly assaulting a state representative candidate in Celina Tuesday, according to police.

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Travis Faber, a Republican candidate running for Ohio’s 84th statehouse seat, caught a man in a red pickup truck stealing a campaign sign from private property on the corner of Westbank Road and U.S. 127 in Celina Tuesday, Police Chief Tom Wale said in a media release Wednesday.

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Faber asked the driver of the truck, later identified as Frank Urwin, 55, to return the sign, before both pulled their vehicles into a nearby parking lot, police said.

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“(Urwin) charged at Faber, who was seated in his car. Urwin opened Faber’s car door and physically assaulted him, pulling him from the car and repeatedly striking him,” Wale said in the release.

Urwin fled the scene but was later located and arrested on charges of assault and theft, investigators said. Urwin was not listed as an inmate of the Mercer County Jail Wednesday afternoon.

“The incident reportedly was sparked by a campaign ad that Urwin did not like,” Wale said in the release.

On April 12, Faber reported a campaign sign was stolen from the same intersection. Surveillance footage later showed a person in a red Ford pickup truck took the sign on April 9, police said.

Faber issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, stating the assault likely stemmed from a picture he took of Urwin taking the sign. Faber released that photo in the statement, showing a man carrying two Faber campaign signs.

Contributed Photo by Travis Faber
Contributed Photo by Travis Faber

Faber said he suffered minor injuries in the incident and was “very concerned the campaign took a dark and violent turn.”

“We can agree to disagree on the issues, but violence has no place in our democracy,” Faber said in the statement.

The 84th district covers Mercer, northern Darke, and parts of Shelby and Auglaize counties. Faber, along with Aaron Heilers and Susan Manchester, are Republican candidates in District 84, with the party primary set for May 8.

The seat, currently held by Faber’s uncle Keith Faber, is up for grabs after Keith announced his candidacy for the Ohio Auditor.