Geauga County political sign defaced with hate symbol

RUSSELL TWP., Ohio - A Burton Township Trustee for the past ten years, Jim Dvorak says he has put up hundreds of campaign signs during that time.

With the May 8th primary election nearing, he is now running as a Republican for Geauga County commissioner against an incumbent, and is starting to put signs up across the county.

"This is part of the sign war with two people competing for one job," said Dvorak.

The design on his newest signs incorporates a GOP elephant symbol into the 'O' on his name. After putting up some of those signs, Dvorak says he and his wife had to leave town for a week because of a death in the family.

That's when he learned someone had defaced one of his signs with an anti-semitic symbol.
"The last couple of days I have had emails and phone calls from friends and people that drive by and check my signs and things like that. When I got a picture of this sign with a swastika on it I about fell off my chair. I couldn't believe it," said Dvorak.

The symbol had been drawn over the republican symbol in his name.

Dvorak says police started getting so many calls about the sign, on route 306, that they took the sign down, laying it on the ground.

While looking for other Dvorak campaign signs Fox 8 News found another on Bainbridge Road on which the same GOP symbol had been carefully covered with duct tape.

"I'm wracking my brain. I don't know if somebody is mad at the GOP, upset with me, but everything I do is in a positive manner," said Dvorak.

The sign was on property owned by Josh Waaland.

"It makes me very uncomfortable to see that people are doing that on my property, that they defaced it. It's childish and it definitely makes me uncomfortable, I have two children," said Waaland.

Waaland added that it is something he never would have expected. "Not for a county commissioner position. I wouldn't have thought. It seems petty, but yeah I was surprised it had come to that," said Waaland.

Police have opened a criminal damaging case over the sign on which someone drew a swastika.

That sign has since vanished and it is not clear if it was stolen or simply picked up by one of Dvorak's supporters.

"This is a democracy. We want democracy at its finest level, not at its worst level," said Dvorak.​