Education and the economy are among the top issues expressed by the three candidates seeking to serve District 59 in the Indiana House of Representatives.

Appearing on the Nov. 6 general election ballot are Republican Ryan Lauer, Democrat Dale Nowlin and Libertarian Clyde Myers, all of Columbus. The winner will fill the seat held by Milo Smith, a six-term lawmaker from Columbus who chose not to run for re-election.

District 59 encompasses Columbus, Taylorsville and in general areas west of State Road 7 in western and southern Bartholomew County.

Lauer, who ran against Smith and lost in the 2014 and 2016 Republican primaries, said it would be his highest honor to serve the people of Bartholomew County in public office.

Story continues below gallery
New Balance 1520 Brown / Orange WO1520GT Hiking Waterproof Size 9 , Asics Training Gel Fit Nova Women's Size 11.5Newton Running Kismet II Running Shoes - Women's Size 8 - Multi-Color8.5 WOMENS Nike Roshe One FB Black Volt green blue Pink 810513 701 MULTICOLOR 7Y , YRU 6 inch Platform Black Women's Size 9 Platform Shoe Goth Gothic WitchORIGINAL VS PACE W, ADIDAS US WOMEN SIZE ( 8 ) NEWRyka Mesh Slip-On Sneakers with Strap Detail - Devotion Cinch Gray Women's 5BROOKS Adrenaline GTS 17 Purple Pink Blue Running Shoes WOMENS 9 40.5 SneakersNike Women's Zoom Rival D 9 Track and Field Shoes 12 Running Sneakers NEW , womens New Balance 574 sneakers size 5,6,6.5,7,7.5,8,9Womens Nike Backboard II 2 Mid Sneakers Shoes Black Gray White US 8.5 , VANS Rhea SF (Square Perf) Gossamer Green Suede Boots WOMEN'S 8 , Black White Width Skechers Women's Memory Foam Slip On Walking Shoes Soft 12368 , BRAND NEW NIKE WOMEN'S FLEX EXPERIENCE RN 4 CAROLINA BLUE GRAY SIZE 11 SHOESCONVERSE CMC3000 Mountain Club Size US8w/UK6/EU39 authentic 80s,USAAdidas Adistar Ride 4 Womens Running Shoes Navy Silver US 12 Fantastic! , Steve Madden 8.5 M Twynkle Taupe Suede Fashion Sneakers New Womens Shoes , Nike Roshe One JCRD BHM QS Sz 5 Women's Black White Red Jacqaurd 1 836230 001ASICS Womens Gel - Challenger 11 White Running Shoes Size 8.5 (357239) , Vintage Keds Woman Sz 7 1/2 M Slingback Shoes Leather Sneakers White , Womens Mizuno Wave Lightning RX2 Volleyball Athletic Sneakers Shoes 7Women`s Gel-Challenger 10 Tennis Shoes White and Hot CoralTony Little Cheeks Lighweights Casual Athletic Footwear NIB Size 9 , VANS Sk8 Hi Slim (Quilted Denim) Dress Blues/Zephyr Skate Shoes WOMEN'S 10Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra Women's Sandals Solar Red Sea Coral Size 8 NEWNew Balance 715 Pink Womens Size 11Nike Women's Flex Trail Running Shoes SZ 7 Gray/Green/Purple SRNew Keds 16FW CH Metalic Glitter Canvas Sneakers 3 Types Women Casual ShoesWomen's Saucony Type A Racing Flat Pink/Purple Size 8B $100

“I believe strongly in service to our community and making a positive difference for the lives of all Hoosiers,” Lauer said. “I will serve earnestly, honestly and with integrity seeking, seeking what is right, listening to the people and protecting our Constitutional rights.”

Nowlin, a math teacher at Columbus North High School since 1985, said as he became involved with issues in downtown Columbus, he saw that his efforts could have a positive impact on his community.

This is his second attempt to win the District 59 seat. Nowlin mounted his first campaign for the seat in 2016, losing to Democrat Bob Pitman in the primary.

“As an educator, I knew we could do more to support and improve our schools,” Nowlin said. “I decided to use my people skills, my understanding of data and my expertise in education to serve our wider community.”

Myers said he was motivated to run for office since he contends that Indiana lacks no champions for businesses.

“Republicans and Democrats continue to move the goalposts on businesses and individuals trying to work in our state,” he said. “They pass legislation without any analysis for unintended consequences. I want to legislate using facts, data, reason, logic and principle, not emotion, opinion or party bias.”

The Alliance for a Healthier Indiana is lobbying to increase the statewide tax on cigarettes — currently 99.5 cents a pack, set in 2007 — by $1.50 a pack in hopes of reducing smoking among Hoosiers and trimming long-term healthcare costs.

However, all three candidates said they are opposed to increasing the cigarette excise tax at that level.

Nowlin said he doesn’t support an increase of that magnitude, noting that Indiana has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation.

Aerosoles Stitch N Turn Fast 7.5 W Fast Bet Champagne Tweed Ballet Flats NWOTBRUNO MAGLI PUMP US 5.5 BWomen’s Ariat Leather Camel Slip On Clogs Size 8.5Jones New York Black Leather Flats with Buckle, 7 M, Slip-onPREDICTIONS SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 1/2 , MERRELL PLAZA SLIDE BLACK MERRELL PERFORMANCE FOOTWEAR SIZE: 7.5 SHOES , Ladies Free Step Mint Green Suede Casual Shoes Style CROCUS , jjj CLARKS BROWN LEATHER SLIDES WOMENS 7 M , ECCO BROWN WOMENS 38 US 8 SUEDE LEATHER BUCKLE MONK STRAP WEDGE LOAFERS LATEX , Aerosoles Out Of Sight Slip On Flat Loafer Flats 664, Dark Tan, 11 USAerosoles Smart Move Perforated Comfrot Flats 362, Silver, 9 US , Ecco Shock Point Oxford Shoes Raspberry suede Women's Size US 9.5 EU40 EUC! , Mojari Women Shoes Handmade Leather Ballerinas Indian Flat US 5.5Old Beijing Cloth Embroidered Shoes Flax Slippers greenAll Black Brand Blue Gray D'Orsay Summer Flat in Leather Size 35 35.5 36 36.5 , LFL by Lust for Life Women's L-Knack Flat Gold Size 6.5 , Womens 7.5 8 38 Dansko Professional Black Oiled Leather Clogs Stapled Shoes Work , Fila Skeletoes EX-Slide Barefoot Running Shoes, Black Pink Womens SZ 4 OuterwearSchutz Women's Zippa Black Leather Peep Toe Tassel Slide With Metallic HeelNEW! Skechers Women's GOWALK 4 EUPHORIC Shoes Black/White P pzSaucony Excursion TR 5 Women's Trail Running Shoes Size 7.5 Silver, Grey & Blue , 8C12 HOKA Challenger ATR Running Cross Training Jogging Athletic Women Shoe Sz 8 , NIKE Womens Nike Ultra Comfort Slide 882695-100 WHITE/BLACK-WHITE Womens Size 7 , Asics Roadhawk FF - Women's Dark Grey/Silver/Glacier Sea, 11.0 , Skechers Women's Empire Rock Around Charcoal/Green Sneakers Shoes Sz: 6.5 , Cane Corso Dog Print Christmas Running Shoes For Women-Free Shipping , Skechers Womens Relaxed Fit Valeris Flying High Sneakers,Black / Hot Pink,6.5 , NIKE SAMPLE AIR MAX THEA SZ: WMNS 7 (599408 602) , New Balance Walk 877 Abzorb Gray/Blue/White Athletic Shoes Women's 9.5 EUC , Women's New Balance 857 White Shoes Cross Training Size US 5.5 D WX857WB ,

Nearly 25 percent of Hoosier adults smoke, compared with 17 percent nationally.

“Indiana’s cigarette tax would be higher than any surrounding state, resulting in other economic consequences,” Nowlin said. “I would not support any increase unless all new revenue went towards smoking prevention and support for those trying to quit smoking.”

Lauer cited information from the Centers from the Disease Control and Prevention that indicated most smokers are under or near the poverty level.

“Raising this tax will have a disproportionately negative effect on lower-income Hoosiers,” Lauer said. “Attempting to change people’s behaviors and addictions by raising taxes is ill-conceived and will hurt our citizens with lower incomes.”

Myers agreed, referring to the cigarette tax as nothing more than a tax on poor people.

“It’s insulting to people who are already struggling to kick them down. No, I do not support a cigarette tax nor excise taxes of any kind,” Myers said.

The three candidates also offered their perspectives on different topics.

Q: Identify three priorities for the next legislative session and why have you chosen them?

Lauer: “Attack the opioid and methamphetamine epidemic by increasing enforcement, awareness and treatment options. We are all affected by this scourge and too many children and families have suffered. Reform the Department of Child Services. Serious issues have been identified at DCS failing our most vulnerable children who must be protected. Expand school choice with education savings accounts for all children and allow more local control of education by letting teachers teach again.”

Nowlin: “Indiana can be a welcoming state with a thriving, sustainable economy. That requires a well-educated workforce. We can grow that workforce by investing in Hoosiers and by creating a quality of life that will attract newcomers. That means we must fix the Indiana Department of Child Services, support and improve our education system and support local communities as they work to overcome the opioid epidemic.”

Myers: “Business — The Indiana General Assembly consistently props up some businesses and industries, while simultaneously putting roadblocks in front of others. If we want good jobs in this state, we need to legalize work and let people earn their own living without a mountain of bureaucracy in their way. Education — Many seem to think that the more money spent on education, the better. We may indeed need more money for education, but that isn’t the only factor. There are other states performing significantly better without many more resources. We need to implement what works, not just throw money at problems. Personal liberty — I am the only candidate running that doesn’t think that he knows better than you how you should run your life. I think you own yourself, your body, your property, your business, your relationships, your self-defense. No one else should decide how you should live, so long as you aren’t hurting anyone else.”

Q: What is your stance on Indiana enacting a hate crime law and explain why you feel that way?

Lauer: “Judges today under current law have wide latitude to increase penalties for crimes with hateful motives and should do so. I support harsher penalties for violent crimes and heroin and meth dealers who are killing people. All violence is hateful and motive should be considered in sentencing, but hate-crimes proposals do not cover all biases and hate.”

Nowlin: “I believe Indiana should pass a hate crime law. It would send a message that all people are welcomed and valued. That is a message for members of minority groups in Indiana and people outside of Indiana, who might be considering making Indiana their home. It is the right thing to do and it would provide more quality candidates for Hoosier companies.”

Myers: “I wish things were so simple that we could just legislate away hatred and bigotry. I would be in favor of legislation that has undergone a thorough analysis to protect against it backfiring and hurting those it is designed to protect and does not infringe on constitutionally protected freedoms.”

Ryan Lauer

Name: Ryan Lauer

Age: 41

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: Bartholomew County Council, elected in 2010, president in 2014

Education: Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, Indiana University

Reebok Womens Size 7 Crossfit Shoe 7 CF74 Purple & Pink 26459 Shoe 4e13235 -

Community: President of Grace Lutheran Church Council and Congregation, Grace Lutheran church member, sheriff’s merit board member, Community Corrections advisory board member, co-founder of “Save Eos,” co-chair of Uncommon Cause 2012, Columbus Philharmonic violinist, computer and data processing board member, Minds on Math mentor at CSA-Lincoln, Columbus Arts District retail committee

Family: Wife Blair, daughters Awyn and Lillian and son Isaac

Dale Nowlin

Name: Dale Nowlin

Age: 64

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and psychology from Alma College, master’s degree in mathematics from Michigan State University

Community: Teacher and math department chair at Columbus North High School and Northside Middle School, sponsor of the Columbus North Environmental Club, Historic Downtown Neighborhood Alliance Steering Committee, member of the Downtown Working Group, First Presbyterian Church Elder and chair of the Adult Fellowship and Education Committee, Ivy Tech Columbus Advisory Board member, former president of the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics, former volunteer for Campus Life/Youth for Christ

Family: Wife Isabel, three grown children, Elisabeth, Joel and Matthew.

Clyde Myers

Name: Clyde Myers

Age: 41

Reebok Womens Size 7 Crossfit Shoe 7 CF74 Purple & Pink 26459 Shoe 4e13235

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Associate degree in computer networking from Ivy Tech, 1995 graduate of Columbus North High School

Athletic Shoes

Family: Wife Amy, daughters Margaret and Olivia

Coming Monday

Meet the candidates for Indiana House District 69: Republican incumbent Jim Lucas and Democrat Steve Schoettmer.