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
Lifestride Women's Farrow Ankle-High Flat Shoe , Vionic Spark Kiska Round Toe Suede Flats - BlackSteve Madden Women's Kaden Velvet Mules , Clark Collection Cushion Soft Women's Size 9Ladies High Platform Womens Trendy Retro Flat Triple Creeper 3" Shoes Boots Size , JOSEF SEIBEL Womens Black Leather Slip On Clogs Shoes US 6.5 M EUC , Born B.O.C Black Leather Slip On Clogs Mules Shoes Womens size 6.5 , Women's Clarks Sz 6 Black Leather Ankle Boots. WS338MERRELL PRIMO MOC BROWN 7.5 Women Shoe Suede Moccasin Walking Winter boot , Women's Naturalizer Brittany Black Leather Slip-on Ballet Flats Size 8 NClarks Kessa Betty Leather Artisan Hook Loafers Tan Shoes Women's 6 MSam Edelman sz 8.5 M Felicia Ballet Flats Metallic Gold Faux Snakeskin Leather , DOONEY & BOURKE Women's Kiltie Tassel Loafers Brown All Weather Leather Shoes 8BENZO ANGIOLINI LADIES BLACK LEATHER SLIP-ON LOAFERS SIZE 8 MVTG Stuart Weitzman Women's Brown Croc Patent Leather Loafers Size 8WOMENS BEACON COMFORT WELL White 2 STRAP SHOES SZ 7WW , Dansko Women's 39 Slip On Mules Sport Brown , Clarks Artisan Women's Black Suede Slip On Loafers Clogs Shoes Size 9M , NWOB MINNETONKA BROWN LEATHER SUEDE UPPERS Size 9 MOCCASIN SHOES , Nordstrom "Paulette" Basket-Weave Leather Slip-on Sandal Brown Size 6 M , SPERRY Top Siders Womens Tan Canvas Sneakers Size 6.5Tahari Women Shoes Size 7M Ballet Flats Round Toe Leather Metallic Blue ElasticBORN Pewter Blue Laser Cut Leather Bow Toe Ballet Flats - 7.5*Rocket Dog Womens Culetc-199 White Loafers Size US 11 , New Arturo Chiang Espadrille Moccasins Leather Women Shoes Beaded Off White 6SAS Women's Burgundy Leather Penny Loafers Shoes Comfort Sz 7N , Greg Michaels Women's American Flag Design Water Shoes, US Flag, 6 US , Gloria Vanderbilt ‘Signature Label’ Women’s Shoes Pumps Size 7 1/2 Fabric LeathL.L. Bean 39 10M Brown leather women's ladies flats loafers clogs shoes 5175

“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.

Lassen Womens Andes Honey Loafers 7.5M , BOC Born Concept GRAY Embossed Floral PEGGY Mules CLOGS Shoes WOMEN 8MAhnu Maroon Suede Mary Jane Shoes Women's 7.5 , NATURALIZER N5 COMFORT HOT PINK BALLET FLATS SIZE 7.5Minnetonka Blue Suede Thunderbird Moccasins Size 7 1/2 Soft SoleZARA Satin HighHeel Sandals Pink Brooch US//37; 7.5/38; 8/39; 9/40; 10/41HEE GRAND Glitter Loafers 2017 Summer Slip On Flats Fisherman Shoes Woman CasualNew Ghostbusters Logo Allover Hi-Top Sneakers Size US 9 Pre-order , JEFFREY CAMPBELL Red Patent Leather Ballet Flats Shoes Mention LN 6M , Clarks Perforated Leather Ballet Flats Gracelin Lea Metallic 6.5M NEW A306040 , Reebok Women’s CrossFit Nano 7, Custom Colors Navy and Red, Size 9.5 Medium , Vamp Mens Slippers Navy Moccasins Wool Lined Sizes ( GO)Ladies Merrell Continuum Brown Ortholite Hiking Sneakers Size 8Womens NIKE Golf shoes sz 8 country club stability traction driving cleats , Womens Asics gel T3G7N multi color running trail shoes US size 7.5 usedConverse All Star Shoes High Top Size 3 Junior Tennis Shoes Girls , Diadora Kuruka - White - Womens , Women's vans skate shoes Outstanding Features Athletic Shoes , Women Adidas BB8956 Equipment 10 CNY Running shoes black gold sneakersNIKE WAFFLE JANA LOW VINTAGE SNEAKERS WOMEN SHOES BLUE 303865-471 SIZE 7 NEW , Womens Nike Free TR6 Training Trainers 833413 006 , Mizuno Ezrun Black/Purple/White Sportstyle Running Shoes Sneakers J1GF183817Skechers Performance Women's Go Walk Lite-15395 Ballet Flat black 8.5 M US , Adidas Womens Raven Boost Performance Trainer Running Shoes Sneakers BHFO 6307 , Mizuno paradox 2, womens 9.0 W , NEW Adidas Originals STAN SMITH W Sneakers in White, Women's Tennis Shoes Size 6New Balance Womens - Gray Running Shoes Size 8 (367835) , Merrell Womens Moab Ventilator Breathable Hiking Athletic Shoes Size 11Reebok Womens SKYSCAPE VIVA CV SAKORI Low Top Slip On Fashion SneakersNew Balance Women's 711 Heather Cross-Training Shoes - Pick Size & Color ,

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

Vince Camuto Womens Kyah 2 Nubuck BHFO Loafer Loafer Colorblock Casual newtomssh-24356 Shoes Flats BHFO 9713 270f604 -

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

Vince Camuto Womens Kyah 2 Nubuck BHFO Loafer Loafer Colorblock Casual newtomssh-24356 Shoes Flats BHFO 9713 270f604

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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


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.