NILES — Some 350 people came out to see Donald Trump Jr. Monday night as he campaigned at the Eastwood Event Center for State Rep. Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta.
Fundraising tickets were $40 each with a $4.06 fee and proceeds went to Friends of Mike Loychik.
Local media were largely barred from entering the event venue. The reporter for that newspaper was turned away by a handful of women checking tickets at the door.
According to several attendees, the evening opened with State Sen. Mike Rulli, R-Salem, giving the introduction. Loychik spoke briefly on a variety of topics, including the Second Amendment, protecting the rights of individuals, and banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools.
Warren’s Carolyn Graham said Loychik impressed her. She said she loved him because he was a good family man.
“To get things done, you need to have a good, dedicated person with a narrow view of what’s important,” Graham said. “I believe in this country and in God, and I hope that will prevail in the future.”
She said Trump Jr. was also impressive and seemed very down to earth. Many attendees commented on Trump Jr.’s sense of humor.
One supporter, Dan Sebrell, said the best comedy is rooted in truth, which he says makes Trump Jr. an effective speaker.
According to several attendees, Trump Jr. devoted most of his speech to slamming the “mainstream media” for what he called bias toward Democrats.
Cortland’s Marleah Campbell said she spoke about many Republicans’ frustrations with the media. Trump Jr. said that included not reporting the whole truth and not giving Republicans a fair chance to share their version of events.
Doris Layfield from Austintown and Jeannie Tisone from Boardman attended with their husbands. Both work for the Mahoning County Republican Party headquarters. Layfield said she sees a member of the Trump family every chance she gets.
“We are Trumpsters at heart,” she said.
This is one of many appearances a member of the Trump family has made in the Mahoning Valley.
Former President Donald Trump has won Ohio by about 8% in the last two elections, but the state has long been considered a key battleground state for the presidency. Trump Jr.’s last appearance in the Mahoning Valley was on October 26, 2020 in Youngstown, while campaigning for his father days before the election.
Layfield said she was drawn to the family because the Trumps love this country and keep their promises. Like the other times she saw Trump Jr., Layfield said he didn’t disappoint on Monday night. Both couples said they were happy with the topics of the speeches, which they said show that Loychik and Trump Jr. share ideals and know what they want.
Trump Jr. also spoke about the FBI raid on his father’s home in Mar-a-Lago, attendees said, as well as the importance of the upcoming election.
Several attendees didn’t want to speak to reporters because they didn’t want to upset Loychik, who banned that newspaper and other outlets from hearing the remarks firsthand.
Loychik is seeking his second two-year term at the State House.
In the Aug. 2 Republican primary, he beat Randy Law of Warren Township, a former state representative, 70.7 to Ohio’s 65th House District’s 29.3 percent.
During his first term, Loychik represented Ohio House’s 63rd District, which encompassed southeast Trumbull County. Due to the redistricting, if he wins in November, Loychik will represent most of Trumbull and Ashtabula counties. The new district favors Republicans by about 23% based on statewide partisan voting trends over the past decade.
Jennifer Donnelly of Cortland, a political newcomer, handed in nomination petitions on Aug. 1, the day before the primary, to run as an independent candidate. No Democrats ran for the seat. The Trumbull County Board of Elections certified his petition on Friday.