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
Mossimo Women's Black Heel Shoes Size 8Women's Aerosmith Black & White Canvas Sneakers US Size 10ADIDAS Gray Mesh Blue Soles CLIMACOOL Cross-training Running Shoe ~ Men's Size 8Asics Gel Contend 4 Purple Silver Running Training Sneaker Shoes Womens Sz 8 D , Bensimon Canvas Hi-Top Tennis Shoes. Color Navy , DANSKIN NOW SHOES WOMENS SIZE 6 BECCA , New Balance Womens 575V2 Blue Running Shoes Size 7.5 (C,D,W) (262833)SKECHERS Women Athletic Running Sneakers Size 7 Grey Blue GreenPUMA – Womens Size 8 Sport Lifestyle Purple/Pink Athletic Sneakers Shoes – #V256New balance 400 women's Blue Travel Walking Sneaker 7EE , New Balance Women's 940v2 Running Shoes W940WB2 11 B USNew Sam Edelman Womens Carmela Pink Walking, Hiking, Trail Shoes Size 7 , Womens THE NORTH FACE Athletic Sneakers Shoes Sz 5.5 , size 11 Wanted Pinellas Navy Sneaker Slip On Casual Womens shoes , Reebok Multi-Color SHOES WOMENS SIZE 6 , Nike Flex Trail Women's Black/Metallic Platinum Berry Sneaker 12MNew Balance WC1005 Women's Tennis Sneaker Shoes Size 8.5 D White , G by GUESS Blazin Fashion Sneakers 014, Black, 8.5 USVtg 80s Nike CORTEZ 1980 FOREST GUMP WOMEN 5.5 Made In Korea White Black , Ryka Women Revive 3 Running Shoe Size 9 M Silver Purple Athletic Comfort , Asics Gel Venture 4 Womens Running Training Shoes Sz 7.5 Gray Purple Black T383NNew ASICS Womens Hyper-Rocketgirl Xc Blue Running Shoes Size 12TS35 Zoie Flat Fashion Sneakers, Gold, 5.5 USNike Free 5.0 Women's Blue Green Running Shoes 615987-507 - US 7.5 () , Ladies Rip Curl Blue & Black Hi Top Pumps/Trainer Boots Style BESTY HIGH STNike Lunar Elite 2 + Running Shoes, Grey/Burg/Red, Women's US 10Ryka Maroon Leather Mesh MaryJane Slip-on Athletic Sneaker 201083 Women 9.5 / 41TrimStep Exercise Toning Shaping Black/Pink Athletic Shoes, Size 10 , VANS Authentic Original Low Top Exclusive Neon Hot Pink Black TB9C sz 6 womens ,

“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.

Clarks Women's Leather Slip On Ballet Flats Shoes Various Sizes Styles ColorsClarks Collection Mary Jane Women size 9.5 Navy , Kelly & Katie Womens Cigola Pointed Toe Loafers light pink Size 9.0 7ZpkDansko Womens 7.5-8 Slip on Clogs Mules Loafers Burgundy Leather Y588MERRELL Womens Black Encore Breeze Slip On Mule Flats Fabric Ortholite Size 6Lifestyle ROCHDALE Ladies Green Leather Flat Shoe (40A) (kett)Minnetonka Women's Black Suede Perforated Moccasin Sz 7 , Dansko Mary Janes Brown Leather Size 9 40 Loafers Made In BrazilDrew Barefoot Freedom Womens Mary Jane Shoes Gray Leather Size 9.5N MSRP $145WOMEN'S MINNETONKA 409T KILTY NAVY MOCASSINS SUEDEDANSKO Womens shoes (7.5/US 38/EU) NEW Grey , GRAVITY DEFYER SIENA FLAT BLACK NUBUCK LEATHER MARY JANE SHOES WOMEN'S 8.5 , Via Spiga Galea 5 Black Womens Shoes Size 6 M Flats MSRP $175$250 size 6.5 Via Spiga Tallis Bone Leather Loafers Moccasin Womens Shoes ItalyCLARKS Womens Everlay Dairyn Closed Toe Loafers, Dark Tan, Size 10.0 fVqaWOMENS SZ 8.5 US CURVES SHAPE-UPS STYLE WHITE BLUE PURPLE TONING LEATHER SHOES , Jil Sander Silver Tone Rounded Stretchy Slide On Closure Women's Flats Size 9.5Women's Sperry Top-Sider Intrepid Linen Mesh Boat Shoes Size 6.5 BlueARRAY Pixie Women's Slip On Taupe Size 11.0 YXJvAirtech Walk Pro Superlite Womens Comfy Slip On Comfort TrainersAdidas Women's CF Lite Racer Slip On Shoes Navy 6NEW Vivobarefoot ultra kids 31 in lilac , New Womens Skechers Memory Foam Tennis Walking Running Athletic shoes Sneakers 7Women's NEW BALANCE WOMENS WRL247EB MULBERRY Trendy Athletic Shoes , Adult Pedini Femme Lyrical Jazz Shoe , Womens Nike Roshe Two Flyknit V2 Black Multi Size 10 917688 003 Running ShoeNike Free RN Motion Flyknit 2017 Women's Running Shoes, Size 8, 880846 301 , PUMA Women's Basket Heart NS Wn Sneaker Black Size 7.0New Vans Iso 1.5 + Mesh Cayenne Red White Classic Ultra Cush Skate Shoe Womens 5 , NEW $85 WOMEN'S PUMA BASKET HEART DE SNEAKERS SHOES

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

New Balance Womens New (314457) - Blue Running Shoes Size 9.5 9.5 (C,D,W) (314457) cf89349 -

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

New Balance Womens New (314457) - Blue Running Shoes Size 9.5 9.5 (C,D,W) (314457) cf89349

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.