Confusion reigns supreme in this year’s primary election for state representative in the 65th Home District covering parts of Trumbull County.
First, confusion arose around the neighborhood’s new name. It has long been known as the 63rd district, but a series of new maps for state legislative districts increase its identity by two digits.
The current district covered the central and southeastern parts of Trumbull County, including but not limited to Bazetta, Cortland, Girard, Weathersfield, and Niles.
Although the maps still remain unfinished, it looks like the new 65th District could include northern Trumbull County with a slice of Portage County. The most recently proposed map places the largely rural northern part of Trumbull County with the southern sector of Ashtabula County.
Of course, the biggest source of confusion comes from the failure of the Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw workable maps to withstand constitutional tests before the Ohio Supreme Court. These redesigned district maps have been rejected four times now.
The donnybrook means the State House and Senate races will not appear in the May 3 primary ballot along with other statewide, local and federal offices. It now looks like both of those races will go to voters in a special election later this summer.
Yet once the confusion clears up, responsible residents of the 65th District will still have to cast an informed ballot to select the Republican nominee who, unless credibly challenged by an independent candidate in the fall, will be elected to office.
The $63,000-a-year legislature wields great responsibility and authority over the making of state laws on taxation, education, economic development, public health, and many other areas.
Incumbent Mike Loychik of Bazetta and former state Rep. Randy Law of Warren Township are seeking the Republican nomination.
Challenger Law has made “constituent service” its No. 1 priority if nominated and elected to the seat. Law, a former chairman of the Trumbull County Republican Party who was ousted as party leader in 2017 amid infighting, said he understands that the most important aspect of a lawmaker’s job was to address the concerns of those served. He promised to make sure phone calls are returned and communications with constituents are a priority.
He criticized his opponent’s accessibility and the public’s response to problems.
Law’s other priorities are to “pass meaningful legislation” and “reduce taxes.”
He said he would gladly support bills to encourage economic development in the Valley and Mahoning State. He has long been a champion of streamlining environmental and regulatory processes so as not to lose business start-ups and expansion opportunities to other states.
Law is also equally fervent in his desire to reduce state taxes and ultimately eliminate state income tax. He says he would look at models from other states with no income tax as fodder for developing a workable system in Ohio.
The Republican challenger also cites his experience as a major asset to his candidacy. He was the elected representative for a majority Democratic district in 2005 and 2006 and served numerous terms on the Central Committee of the Republican State of Ohio. As such, Law can better understand the finer details of Columbus legislation and have valuable connections there.
We liked Law’s approach and think his accessibility will be an asset whether he’s in Columbus or at home in the Valley.
Loychik, the incumbent, meanwhile declined an invitation to meet with that journal’s editorial board or submit answers to our standard candidate questionnaire, thereby rendering him ineligible to be considered for endorsement in that race.
Loychik’s lack of communication regarding our approval process frankly came as no surprise to us. Since taking office 16 months ago, Loychik has essentially remained incommunicado with this newspaper. Issue after issue, Loychik failed to answer questions posed by reporters on some of the most compelling topics of the day and even on legislation he himself had sponsored and sought to advance, such as his early effort of 2021 to rename Mosquito Lake State Park after former President Donald J. Trump. This initiative, rightly criticized by some as demagogic, went nowhere quickly in Columbus.
It should be noted that Loychik’s lack of response comes despite the conversations he has had over the past few months with the management of this newspaper in which he promised to be more accessible to us and, consequently, to our dozens of thousands of daily readers who rely on us to stay informed. on the actions and opinions of their elected officials.
This journal therefore endorses Law for the Republican nomination for the 65th Statehouse District.