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
adidas Originals Tubular Viral Shoes - Women's Size 6 - BlackAdidas Women Neo CF Advantage Sneakers Shoes White Black Stripe Size 7.5 US New!Onitsuka Tiger Womens Ultimate 81 Sneaker Shoes black pink White Size 61/2 US , Womens Skechers 12769 FLEX APPEAL 2.0 DONE DEAL Slip On Fashion Sneaker ShoesAltra Womens Timp Trail Orchid Hiking Shoes Size 7.5 (32375) , Women's Adidas Stella Sport Aleki X Sneaker Stella McCartney BB4768 Size 8.5MBT Women's Muziki Mary Jane Slip On Shoes - (Military)*** , Nike Zoom Rival S8 Sprint Track Shoes with Spikes 806558-999 Size 8.5 , Pink Stan Smith Black Velvet Logo Adidas Womens 8 , Skechers Women's Hi Lite New York Nights SneakerOn Cloud Womens Cloudrunner Running ShoesSalming Women's Race 3 Ankle-High Running ShoeASICS Running Trainers Gel Kayano Purple Black Borealis Pack Sports Shoes 3 3.5Nike Air Max 2015 Size 7.5 Womens Purple Grey Wolf 698903-015Clarks Women's May Marigold Slip-On , Nike Wmns Air Zoom Strong Orange Black Strap Women Training Shoes 843975-800 , NWT WOMENS NEW BALANCE BLACK 990 SHOES HERITAGE COLLECTION W990TB3 MADE IN USA , Womens Skechers 11930 D'LITES BIGGEST FAN Memory Foam Casual Shoes Sneakers , ASICS GEL-Venture 6 - Blue - Womens , NEW Sz 6.5 Women’s Nike Lunarepic Flyknit Shield Gyakusou Black 859890-300 , Aerosoles Women's Exhibet FlatUnder Armour Women's Charged Stunner Training Shoes , Fitflop Womens Sporty-Pop High Top Sneaker Shoes , NEW BALANCE WX608V2B WOMEN'S BLACK LEATHER SLIP RESISTANT ATHLETIC SNEAKERS NEWSkechers BREAK FREE Womens Casual Trail Running Gray Blue Shoes SneakersNike Juvenate Print - Blue - Womens , Supra Women's Noiz Ankle-High Mesh Fashion Sneaker , Nike Wmns Cortez Ultra BR Breathe Blue White Women Shoes Sneakers 833801-400 , Women's Under Armour 1298678918 Drift 2 Sneakers True Ink/White

“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.

Traditional Women Slippers Leather Flip-Flops Indian Sandals Clogs Mojari US 8Preview International Sammi Lea Women's Black Flat 4M , IKRUSH Women's Misty Faux Suede Embellished Flat Pumps Size in BLACK Size 8Adidas NEW Original Stan Smith Womens 8.5 40 2/3 Leather Sneaker Shoes BB1433 kk , Ladies Spot On Nude Slip On Ballerina Shoes with Beige & Gold Bow Trim F8790Womens ECCO Brown Suede Loafers Vegetable Tanned Slip On Shoes Size Eur37, Us6.5 , Women's Clarks Gael Bobtail Slip On Shoes Style 15260 Brown Size 6WClark’s Artisan Collection Leather ankle strap scalloped wedge comfort shoe 8Unisa Womens Libli Fabric Almond Toe Loafers, Black, Size 8.5 ceFRWomen's Comfort Loafers 9 Medium Black Leather Low Heel Wedge Mule ShoesJeffrey Campbell 9.5 Flats Leather Woven Wedge Black Slip On Catch Women , Womens Pink Cape Liz Flex By Liz Claiborne Size 9 MBeacon Womens eastport Canvas Closed Toe Ankle Strap Slingback Sand Size 8.0Nike MJ Casual Sneakers / Shoes, Taupe/Brown, Womens US Size 6.5 , New Balance WL574CPV Fuchsia Green Womens Size 6.5 Running Shoes Sneakers , KEDS WH19829 TAUPE/BL MARYJANE STYLE WALKING SHOE SZ 10 MED~CLEAN, EUC22459 Skechers Womens Breathe easy Just relax trainers Stone/Navy STNV , Skechers Shape Ups Womens White and Silver Size 8.5 Toning Exercising Shoes , Women's Skechers Women's Breathe-Easy-Lassie Casual Shoe Ample Supply And Prompt Delivery Athletic ShoesWomen's Women's Drew Tulip Comfort Shoes Inexpensive FlatsWomen's Steven Madden Black Studded Flats Quality Superior Flats , NIB Women's Barbour Highlands Tartan Low Sneakers ~ Sz 7 , Puma Basket Platform Strap - Brown - Womens , Creative Recreation WCR75HI48 W Gallo Black Purple Women shoesSkechers Performance Women's Go Outdoor Walking Shoe, Color Options , Womens 6.5 Nike Air Force One Premium Pistachio/white - Neutral OliveVasque Women's Talus Trek Black Olive/Damson Leather Hiking Shoes 10MFree People Womens Metallic Letterman Sneakers Silver Size 37 New , Brooks Chariot Sneaker, Women's Size 8 D, Eggplant , Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0 Womens Training Shoes Size 10 Green CF74 V59945 ,

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 Classics Running 26495 Shoes NEW WL574BFS Green Classics Pink Women’s Size 9.5 41578fc -

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 Classics Running 26495 Shoes NEW WL574BFS Green Classics Pink Women’s Size 9.5 41578fc

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.