A proposal to rename an Ohio state park for former President Donald Trump is not supported by Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources as the agency defended the park’s current name, Mosquito Creek Lake, according to the Associated Press.
A Republican-backed state bill, primarily led by Ohio state Representative Mike Loychik, was introduced on Monday and would rename Mosquito Creek Lake to Donald J. Trump State Park, which Loychik said in March was meant to “honor” Trump.
“The name has withstood the test of time. Mosquito Creek Lake was formed by damming Mosquito Creek back in 1944,” the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said in a statement in response to the bill, according to AP. “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.”
Mosquito Creek Lake is in Trumbull County, where Trump won 55% of the votes in the 2020 presidential election in November.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
The bill 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.”
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 Governor Mike DeWine, who is expected to run for re-election next year, or in the many right-wing candidates vying for the party’s nomination for Senator Rob Portman’s seat.
The state park is 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 state Representative 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.
A message seeking comment was left Tuesday with Loychik.
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. More than 40 states, including Ohio, recognize Ronald Reagan Day.