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State Rep. Mike Loychik seeks to rename state park after Donald Trump

Staff file photo / R. Michael Semple A sail boat floats across Mosquito Lake in September 2014. Freshman state Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta, wants to rename Mosquito Lake State Park after former President Donald Trump.

Freshman state Rep. Mike Loychik wants to rename Mosquito Lake State Park after former President Donald Trump.

In a Friday note to fellow House members and their staffs, Loychik, R-Bazetta, wrote: “I will soon be introducing legislation, which will change the name of Mosquito Lake State Park to Donald J. Trump State Park.”

He is seeking co-sponsors for the bill and gave members until March 19 to contact his office.

“This bill will help to honor the hard work that President Trump did for Ohio and the nation while he was in the White House,” Loychik wrote.

Attempts to reach Loychik for comment Friday were unsuccessful. He hasn’t returned several phone calls from this newspaper since he was elected last November.

But in a written statement, he said: “The legislation is meant to honor the commitment that our 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, bestowed upon the great people of Trumbull County.”

He added: “I will soon be introducing this bill to recognize the triumphs Trump brought over the last four years to this great nation and the Buckeye State. I have more exciting news to come on this initiative. Stay tuned!”

State Rep. Michael J. O’Brien, D-Warren, who also represents parts of the park, said: “Why would you name a lake after the only president in U.S. history to have been impeached twice?”

O’Brien added he “was absolutely blindsided by this news” and a fellow House member told him about it.

O’Brien said Loychik didn’t consult him, the county commissioners or the county tourism bureau before offering the name change.

“In the event there would be a name change, it would be disrespectful to (not consider) famous former residents of Trumbull County like President William McKinley, Clarence Darrow and the Packard Brothers, just to name a few,” he said.

O’Brien acknowledged Mosquito “isn’t a positive name. But (changing it to honor Trump) would create political turmoil and not be a positive message for Trumbull County.”

Also, it would take an act of Congress to change the name of the lake, but the state could change the name of the park, he said.

Mosquito Lake is one of the largest manmade lakes in the state, with more than 7,000 acres of surface area, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The surrounding park covers 2,483 acres and offers boating, fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities. The state took over the park in 1946, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates the lake.

Although Trump, a Republican, lost the presidential election last year to Democrat Joe Biden, he won Ohio and Trumbull County in both 2016 and 2020.

Trump beat Biden by 10.56 percent last year in Trumbull, a once-reliable Democratic county. He beat Democrat Hillary Clinton in Trumbull in 2016 by 6.22 percent.

Trump was the first Republican to win Trumbull in two consecutive presidential elections since Herbert Hoover in 1928 and 1932.

Loychik beat Democrat Gil Blair of Weathersfield by 8.3 percent in the November election.

He’s never held elected office prior to this two-year term to the Ohio House 63rd District seat that began Jan. 1.

Loychik’s first bill as a House member was to make Ohio a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

The legislation would affirm the power of states’ rights over the federal government in case federal laws or authority attempted to infringe on Second Amendment rights. Some have questioned whether the bill could be enforced if approved.

Loychik has tweeted “the Second Amendment is non-negotiable” a number of times, as well as calling face mask mandates “unconstitutional. The government has NO authority to tell you what to wear. Repealing Ohio’s mask mandate is essential to restoring basic personal freedoms!”

Loychik also criticized Biden and praised Trump on Twitter.

“The left and big tech colluded to silence President Trump,” he tweeted March 5. “Now they’re trying to erase him from the internet. If they can wage a war on the president of the United States and cancel his speech, they can do it to anyone. We MUST stand up for free speech online.”

Two Republican House members introduced a bill last month that would declare June 14 as “President Donald J. Trump Day” in Ohio. It’s the former president’s birthday. The bill has 11 Republican co-sponsors, including Loychik. It hasn’t received a hearing in the Republican-controlled House.

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