Springfield News-Sun

GOP seeks to rename state park for Trump

- By Farnoush Amiri Report for America/ Associated Press

COLUMBUS — A Gop-backed bill introduced Monday would change the name of an Ohio state park to honor former President Donald Trump.

The bill primarily sponsored by freshman state Rep. Mike Loychik to rename Mosquito Lake State Park to Donald J. Trump State Park is the latest attempt by Ohio Republican­s to honor the former president.

“This legislatio­n is meant to honor the commitment and dedication that our 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, bestowed upon the great people of Trumbull County,” Loychik wrote in an initial statement.

He added, “This enthusiasm for our former president was also historic throughout the state of Ohio last November as he pushed for initiative­s and policies that was very well-received with my constituen­cy and the state.”

While Trump lost the 2020 presidenti­al election, he won Ohio with more votes than any candidate in state history.

The state park proposal is just the latest indication of Trump’s influence in politics over the GOP party in Ohio — whether in the measured approaches of it over establishm­ent Republican­s like Gov. Mike Dewine, who is expected to run for reelection next year, or in the many right-wing candidates vying for the party’s nomination for Sen. Rob Portman’s seat.

In Trumbull County, where Mosquito Lake State Park is located, Trump won nearly 55% of the vote in November.

The state park is located in Cortland, Ohio, with more than 7,000 acres, and one of the largest lakes in the state. Loychik had initially announced his plans for the bill in mid-march, resulting in a wave of criticism from Democratic colleagues.

“Ohioans are struggling with an addiction crisis, economic disruption, and a pandemic that the other guy said would disappear just like magic,” Democratic Rep. Rich Brown tweeted on March 12. “Instead of addressing these pressing issues, Ohio House Republican­s are spending their time flattering the Insurrecti­onist-in-chief.”

The state would need $300,000 allocated to change the signs in the park, according to the bill language.

Also in response to the bill, the state Department of Natural Resources defended the name of the park.

“The name has withstood the test of time. Mosquito Creek Lake was formed by damming Mosquito Creek back in 1944,” the statement read. “Since then, Mosquito Lake State Park has become one of Ohio’s best state parks, best fishing lakes, and has one of Ohio’s most important wildlife refuges.”

The first proposal introduced by Republican legislator­s in honor of Trump sought to declare his birthday, June 14, as Donald J. Trump Day in Ohio.

While it is not uncommon for states to turn the birthdays of former presidents into paid holidays or days of significan­ce, that designatio­n is usually bestowed after death.

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