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
JCREW CECE SUEDE BALLET FLATS PURPLE SIZE 8.5Dansko Burgundy Leather Loafer Clog Moc Toe Mule Shoe Women's US 9.5 to 10 , Merrell J48512 Encore Nova 2 Grip Trail Hiking Walking Mules Women's Size 9.5 MWOMEN'S CIRCUS SAM EDELMAN LENI 2 EYE CAN'T BLACK ESPADRILLES US 5.5 NEW NWOB , PETER KAISER Green & Black Patent Leather Pumps Flats, Germany, Size 9 , Merrell Plaza Moc Dark Coffee Brown Shoes Loafers Slip-Ons (Sz 6 US, 36.5 EU) , Sperry Womens Metallic Gold Flats 6.5 MAEROSOLES 7 M Loafers Brown Leather Slide Mules Low Heel (S123)NURTURE Size 9.5 Dark Burgundy Leather Pleated Draped Toe Beautiful Ballet FlatsKeen Cush Slip Ons Purple suede Loafers Size 7 , WOMENS SHOES BY AEROSOLES-SUPER CUTE--GRAY--SIZE 10Privo by Clarks Womens Sz 11M Ronan Leather Driving Casual Shoes Brass ChocolateNew Aerosoles Hey Girl Gold Leather Ballet Flats sz 5 US , Salamander Lady-Line Woven Tan Leather Loafer Slip On Heel Shoes 10Clarks Collection Nubuck Athletic Shoes Teffa Adorn 10 MEDIUM BROWN , Vionic Kristin Embellished Comfort Mules Bronze Women's Size 6Keen Howser Red Quilted Slip-On Fleece Lined Bootie women's US 5 GUCCircus by Sam Edelman Black Cage Espadrilles Leather Espadrille Flats R 6M 6 M , T.U.K. Dazzle Black Peep Toe Moto Jacket Ladies Size 10 Vegan Free ShippingWOMEN'S BORN BROWN LEATHER CLOGS/MULES/COMFORT SHOES SIZE 7/38 9793Bama Womens Size 39 Loafers Black Slip On Pumps Dress Shoes Casual Walking Work , Clarks Cheyn Wale Women Shoes Black Velcro Flats Sz 7.5 MBORN 6 / 36.5 Mules Brown Leather Slides Low Heel (S139)Clarks Everyday Flats Womens Leather Size 8.5 M , Bare Traps Landy New Pewter Size 9 M NewHELLE WOMENS SHOES CLOGS BRONZE GOLD SIZE 7.5/38 , Women's Shoes Bamboo Flat Black Velvet *New* , Women's Simply Vera Wang Multi Color Woven Bow Jeweled Espadrille Flats Size 7 M , Sesto Meucci of Florence Black Mules Slides Size 7.5 NARROW Women's Retail $148 ,

“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.

Mix No 6 Womens Rowland Pointed Toe Ballet Flats, Black, Size 6.0 Xg9uKathy Van Zeeland Lara Black & White Snake Jeweled Chain Loafer 5.5 New , LADIES SPOT ON BLACK SYNTHETIC LOAFERS "F9723" , NEW EDITION Ladies Orange Plaid Boat Shoes Size ADULT SMALL 5-6 SKUNEW!Shellys London Womens Abeniel Canvas Round Toe Loafers, Gray, Size 9.0 2AZu , Circus by Sam Edelman Size 6 Cream Blush Faux Patent Chrome Heel Flats NEWMerrell Apure Black Leather Ortholite QForm Casual Work Shoe Womens Size 8$99 size 8 Betsey Johnson Joy Jeweled Champagne Ankle Strap Ballet Flat ShoesDANSKO Sz 37 Brown Mary Jane Leather Women's Shoes Perforated printNew in Box Iron Fist Area 51 Pointy Flat Black with Green Aliens , ELLEN TRACY (EB-BALDWIN PATENT LEATHER DESERT SAND ) SIZE 6.5 BRAND NEW!!!Ivanka Trump Womens TIZZY Pointed Toe Ballet Flats, Gold/texture, Size 7.0 Tzh0G.H. Bass & Co. Wynn Weejuns Leather Loafer Mules, Women's Size 8.5M, BurgundyUsed Asics Running Soft Top Duomax IGS Sneakers Shoes Running Sports T050N VNDS , SALE Fashion Women Camouflage Canvas Shoes Comfortable Breathable Causal Shoes , Womens Elegant Breathable Sneakers Athletic Running Walking Sports Hiking ShoesSKECHERS WORK Women's Aluminum Toe Steel Plate Work Shoe Black/Grey Size 7.5MDUAL FUSION LITE -TRAINING / RUNNING SHOES GREY PINK GREEN ( SIZE 6 ) WOMEN`SSlip On Mules Outdoor Indoor Lounge Lightweight Slippers Warm Comfort , Men's The North Face Vibram Hiking Shoes - Tan/Gray - Size 9.5 , Nike Lunar Glide lOrange Running Training Sneakers Women's US 6.5Women's Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Shoes Sneakers Size 7.5 Running Pink Mint O6 , Womens Brooks Ravenna 7 Athletic Support Mesh Light Running Shoes Size 10.5 , VANS HELLO KITTY HI TOP SNEAKERS SHOES WOMEN SIZE 7 , Nike Wmns Zoom Strike Running Womens Shoes Vast Grey AJ0188-006 , Puma Womens Pink Fashion Sneaker Shoes size 6New Keds 17ss Tournament Retro Court Textile Canvas Sneakers Women Navy WF56641 , SAUCONY Women's Grid ?Cohesion NX? Running Shoe , New Skechers Women's Activate Fit Fashion Wedge Sneaker Shoe sz 6.5M , Vans Classic Slip-On VN000EYEBLK Low Men Women Shoes Sz3-15 Fast shipping K ,

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

Merrell Mimosa Cheer Kangaroo Mocs Mocs Brown Leather 26096 Loafer kelvinsi-26098 Slip-On Shoes Women's 9 e8fffde - 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

Merrell Mimosa Cheer Kangaroo Mocs Mocs Brown Leather 26096 Loafer kelvinsi-26098 Slip-On Shoes Women's 9 e8fffde

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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

Flats

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.