Senator with son named McKinley decries mountain name change

AP News
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Posted: Sep 01, 2015 4:31 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A state senator who named his son McKinley after North America's tallest mountain peak isn't too pleased with the president's decision to change its name back to Denali.

Sen. L. Scott Frantz, a Greenwich Republican and avid climber, says four of his children are named for mountains, including 17-year-old McKinley.

Another of Frantz's sons, Hunter, is named for a mountain near McKinley, and his twin brother, Hanley, took his name from a mountain in West Rutland, Vermont. The boys were allowed to name their little sister Brady after the New England Patriots quarterback but only after they showed their dad there was a Brady Mountain in Arkansas.

Sen. Frantz has climbed several of the world's highest peaks, including Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the former Mount McKinley, in Alaska. He attempted Everest in 2009, but his expedition was turned back before reaching the summit by bad weather, he said.

Frantz was also in a group that summited an unnamed peak in Alaska in 2003 and, as part of mountaineering tradition, unofficially named it. The peak was dubbed Mount Sergeant after Frantz's son Sargeant, the only one of his kids who hadn't been named after a mountain. Sargeant had died the previous year of a brain disease at age 2.

Frantz said President Barack Obama should have let Alaskans vote on whether they preferred McKinley or Denali before unilaterally changing it himself. Of course, he joked, there is another option.

"If President Obama can summit McKinley, then maybe he can rename it," Frantz said.

Either way, Frantz says son McKinley plans to keep his name.

"Denali Frantz just doesn't quite have the ring that he would like," he said. "I don't think he's going to run out and change his birth certificate any time soon."