CELINA — A Republican candidate for the 84th District of the Ohio House is recovering after being assaulted in Celina on Tuesday.
According to a news release from the Celina Police Department, on April 12, Travis Faber reported someone stole a large campaign sign from the corner of Westbank Road and U.S. Route 127. Police said it had been placed on private property with permission. Review of nearby surveillance footage showed a person in a red Ford pickup truck taking the sign April 9.
On Tuesday, Faber checked his new sign and noticed the red truck was leaving and another sign had been taken. Faber confronted Frank Urwin, 55, of St. Henry, and asked him to return the sign.
Faber then parked in the parking lot of the Boardwalk Bar & Grill. Urwin turned around on U.S. Route 127, pulled into the parking lot where Faber was and quickly exited his truck, charging 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.
Urwin fled the scene. He was later arrested for assault and theft. The incident was sparked reportedly by a campaign ad that Urwin did not like.
Faber is the nephew of Keith Faber, a former state Senate president and current 84th District representative. The elder Faber is running for Ohio auditor.
Faber, who suffered minor injuries in the incident, said he is very concerned the campaign took such a dark and violent turn at the hands of a supporter of his opponent. Faber called on all the campaigns in the race to cooperate fully with the investigation and to suspend the activities of any campaign supporter acting improperly.
“This attack does not reflect the values of the people of Mercer County or the 84th District,” Faber said.
“We can agree to disagree on the issues, but violence has no place in our democracy.”
Urwin apparently has ties to the campaign of Aaron Heilers.
Heilers posted a statement on his Facebook page Wednesday, “It has come to my attention that an incident occurred yesterday between a campaign volunteer and fellow candidate regarding a campaign sign. The volunteer was not acting under the direction of me or anyone else involved in the campaign. The situation occurred between two adults, and I would expect both involved parties to act as such. I do not condone this type of behavior.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.