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
MBT Maliza Gray Pewter Leather Fitness Toning Walking Shoes Women's US Size 8.5 , Asics Womens Gel-Tastic B554N Athletic Running Black/ Red Shoes Size 8 , Womens New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 Running Athletic Shoes Blue Size 9.52016 new New Women's Shoes Fashion Leather Shoe Casual Sneakers ShoesNike 536536974-553 Structure 16 women's yellow/pink/white shoes Size 8.5Asics Gel Gt 2150 Womens Running Shoes White/blue Size 10Naturalizer Womens Selah Black Fashion Sneaker Size 6.5 (C,D,W) (31893)ASICS GT 1000 #T3R5N Women's Crosstraining Running Shoes Pink Orange Size 8.5Women's Converse All star Bright Neon Green Canvas Low Top Unisex Sneakers Sz 5Merrell Lorelei MJ Mary Jane Water Shoe Hiking US 6.5 Women Mesh Tan Brown , Nike Revolution 2 Athletic Shoes Womens US 8 Pre Owned Good Condition Gray Blue , Nike Zoom Rival M 8 Women's Track Spike 92417Rocket Dog Red Plaid Womens Jagg Altan Cotton Fashion Sneaker Shoes 8.5 M C6317Women's Brooks 1S Adrenaline GTS Running Sneakers Shoes Size 10.5 B Medium , New!! Women's Skechers 12013 Synergy FRONT ROW Trainers in Black/Black A59SKECHERS Ultra Flex Statements Sneaker - Women's Size 9.5 Slate , CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR Chucks High Top Sneakers Two Layer 5.5 Brown TanDVS Womens Multi Woven Running Shoes Size 10 (35682)Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Women White Gemma Slip-On Sneakers NWOB Size 6.5VANS canvas low top shoes men's 7.5 women's 9.0 HOFFMAN TIKI Hawaii gently wornNaturalizer Womens Marianne Fashion Sneaker Size 11 (31885) , Asics Gel Sneakers Women Sz 8.5 OS Sky Speed T0H6N Running Cross Training YellowNEW Puma GV Special Jr Youth Shoes Black Metallic Gold Women's Unisex 344765-01 , Women's Kangaroos Lotus Shoes Sneakers Size 10 With Zip Pocket Blue & GreenSKECHERS Shape-Ups 11806 Grey Pink Walking Toning Shoes Women's Sz. 10 /40 , Women’s REEBOK Quick Chase Running Shoes V65847 Sneaker Grey Blue White Size 12$75 PUMA Imani Shimmer Womens 9 M Purple/Black Suede Low Profile SlipOn Sneaker , Women's New Balance 890v2 Silver/Mint Green W890SG2 Running Sneakers Sz 7 MFashion Painting Womens Running Shoes Breathable Ultra-Light Sneaker Sport Shoes

“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.

New Ladies Womens PomPom T-Bar Espadrilles Flat Fur Peeptoe Sandals Pumps ShoesPrivo by Clarks White Perforated Front Cross Strap Shoes Flats Slip On sz 7NEW! Merona 'Poppy' Plaid Grey Pointy Flats Dress Shoes $23 FAST SHIP!Attention Women's Alix Red/Wine Ballet Flat, Slippers size 10 NWT , Brooks Brothers Womens Ballet Flats Size 9 Pink Blue White Satin Striped , A. Testoni Flats Shoes Women Size 36.5 US 5.5 Blue LeatherCole Haan Clogs Platform Shoes Black Suede High Heels Slip On 7.5 BWalking Cradles Womens leather walking shoes size 8.5 B , Aerosoles Girl Talk Flats - Women's Size 9.5M Light BrownVidorreta Shoes 330400 Pink 37NWOB Free People M4D3 Women's Black Mage Slip-On Sneakers Shoes Size 8 , Trotters Womens Charcoal Gray Suede Square Toe Loafers Size 5.5 NWOB , Nike Air Speedlax 4 Lacaosse Womens 7 Gray Pink Dual Pull Cleats Shoes 616300 , Women's Skecher's, Go Walk 4, 14148, Pursuit,  Slip on Loafer, Black . , Cole Haan Slip On Faux Fur Lined Mules Wedges Heels Shoes Brown Suede Sz 8B (B1)Nfinity Game Day Cheer Shoe, White, 12 B USOboz Women’s Size 8.5 Low Blue Brown Dry Waterproof Hiking Trail Shoes G100 , WOMANS SKECHERS ELITE SLIP ON SHOE 12011EW FLEX ELITE SIZE 8.5 W BLACK BLEND , WOMENS RUNNING GEL FLUX ASICS SIZE 8.5 WOMENS RUNNING SHOES SZ. 8.5 , Asics Gel Kayano 16 Running Shoes Women Size 9 , Womens 10 Nike Air Mogan Mid 2 Shoes - gray / orange / plaid 407479-600 (skate) , Women's jordan 12 retro In Many Styles Athletic Shoes , Skechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 - Deja Vu Sport Sandal, - Choose SZ/ColorNike Women's Air Max Fury Athletic Snickers Running Training Shoes Size US 9.5Women's Ecco Receptor White Leather Walking Shoes US 10Skechers Womens D’Lites Air Cooled Memory Foam Fresh Start White Sneakers 9.5Converse All Star Women's 7 Men's 5 Multi Color Pattern Shoes Pink Blue YellowLA Gear Ladies T-Raww Mesh Casual LA13R627K-3 Black Grey Womens US size 5 , VIONIC 335TOURNEY9004 Action Tourney Women's Walking Sneakers Blue Teal Size 8MBONFEEL GAUDI Women Yellow Green Shoes Athletic Sports Outdoor Running e_N

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

WOMEN'S NIKE wolfeph-4393 AIR EXCEED TRAINING SHOES WHITE SZ WHITE LEATHER 366650-111 SZ 7 EXCELLENT!! 26d92ff - thelocalrap.com

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

WOMEN'S NIKE wolfeph-4393 AIR EXCEED TRAINING SHOES WHITE SZ WHITE LEATHER 366650-111 SZ 7 EXCELLENT!! 26d92ff

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.