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
Womens Reebok Crossfit Nano 7.0 BS8353 White Guava Punch Size 8ELEVEN BY VENUS WILLIAMS 9.5 Women's White Green Sneakers Slip On , DANSKO WOMENS BLUE LEATHER COMFORT/PROFESSIONAL CLOGS SZ 7.5 , Nike Air Relentless 4 Women's Running Shoes, Gray Size 10Women’s Outdoor Running Breathable Sports Shoes Athletic Casual Youth Sneakers , NIKE AIR MAX Women’s Sneakers Size 6.5, COLOR , Adidas originals women shoes phantom NWT, women us size6 G96080Nike Walking Loafers Green Leather Women10Medium (B, M) , Women's New Balance Coast V3 Running Shoes Black 5W , Nike Women's Free 5.0+ Running Shoe 8Vionic Venture Women's Orthotics Walking Athletic Sneakers Gray Purple Size 9(A5Nike Training Running Shoes Green Synthetic Women 10 Medium (B, M)Womens High fashion Candy color cute sweet Hip-hop sport shoes boots Sneakers , Superstar Originals White Bronz Rose-Gold Donna Shoes Sneakers BB1428 US Size7.5 , Nike Women's DUNK LOW PREMIUM Shoes Neutral Grey/Citron 318638-031 (Sz 11) RARECHAUSSURE YELLOW CAB SHOES TAILLE 37 TENNIS/ BASKET/ZAPATOS/BOOTS NEUF , Dr. Comfort Victory Plus Womens Theraputic Diabetic Orthopedic Shoes Sz 8W Wide , Nike Running Shoes Silver Synthetic Women9.5Medium (B, M) , Nike Free Run ID Mens Running Shoes Atheletic Sneakers 588546-991 Size 10.5New Balance 810 All Terrain Women's Shoes Black/Gray/Blue Sz 8 , WOMEN PINK/GRAY NIKE DUAL FUSION ST 2 SZ.8 PRE-OWNED , Nike Air Max Thea Fashion Sneakers Black Synthetic Women8.5Medium (B, M) , adidas Running Shoes Black Synthetic Women8.5Medium (B, M) , WOMENS AUTHENTIC NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 33 BLACK YELLOW RUNNING SHOES 9 M , women's Fashion Casual Sports Sneakers Youths Walking Travel Athletic SneakersNike Walking Shoes Gray Leather Women7Medium (B, M) , NWB JUNIORS POINTED FLATS STRIPED WHITE BLACK SLIP ON CASUAL SHOES SZ 7 FA-2 , Nike Free 7.0 Running Shoes Gray Synthetic Women8.5Extra Wide (E+)Puma Easy Rider III Womens Shoes Size 6 Green Purple White 347971 03 ,

“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 Womens Casual Comfort Cute Slip On Round Toe Ballet Suede Leather Flat ShoesAlfani Womens Aidaa Leather Square Toe Mules , Ladies Spot On Brogue Style Shoes , **Steve Madden Bungiee Flats - Women's Size 8.5 - Black (DAMAGED)COLE HAAN Darlene 8.5 Ivory Patent Leather Snake Wedge Slip On D34485 , LADIES DOWN TO EARTH LEATHER SLIP ON CASUAL SHOES (3 COLOURS) F80205 , Nine West Spruce Ballet Flats 608, Black Suede, 10 USLADIES REFLEX SLIP ON LIGHTWEIGHT CASUAL TRAINERS RUNNING SHOES F7053Sugar Women's Orbio High-Top Fashion Sneakers Silver Size 5.5 4ceuGourmet Women's Uno SP Round Toe Leather Sneakers Brown White/Snake SkinFinn Comfort Womens Black Leather GALWAY Vlcro Loafers Size 6 UK US 8.5 $335Sole Society by Julianne Hough Caity Ankle Strap Wedge Size 7.5B , Forever Women's Casual Slip On Shoes Silver Ribbed Size 9 , Girls Pointed Toe Loafers Shoes Casual Flats Bow Tie Fashion Pumps Korean White , SKECHERS WOMEN'S BOBS CHILL NATURAL 39564 / NATAdidas Element Voyager 2 Womens Textile Green Running Trainers Shoes B44339 U87NEW Womens Nike Zoom Rival D 9 Track Shoes Hyper Violet/White/Blue - Pick Size , ASICS Gel Excel 33 Running Shoes Women's Size 9 M Storm/Lighting/Neon Pink T271N , Reebok GL 2620 Sneakers, Size 6.5 Youth US - 8 Women's (38.5 EU, 24.66 cm) NIB , Earth Womens Mary Jane Shoes Size 8.5 B Intrigue Wine Purple Suede Leather (D2) , Women's GB35 Pashaa Fashion Sneakers, Black Clearance Price Athletic Shoes , Women's Sweet Lolita Tea Party Shoes Quality Superior FlatsBorder Collie Print Slip Ons For Women-Express ShippingVANS Sk8 Hi Slim (Pop) Black/Blue Tint Mint High Top Skate WOMEN'S Size 9 , Onitsuka Tiger Womens Mexico 66 Slip-on Sneakers Aluminum/Aluminum Size 11.0 , Asics Gel-Fit Yui Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 7.5, Black/Silver/WhiteAUTH Diesel Women Persis Rubine Red Sneaker , Converse Breakpoint Ox Sunset Glow/Porpoise-White 555918C Women's SZ 7 , Baskets Femme ETNIES Flirt W'S Black PinkPropet Women's GunsmokeBlack Wash and Wear Slide Nylon 6 2E US

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 Size Dart 10 Reslon Motion Fit Size Reslon 8.5 8.5 Black Purple b8ede94 - 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 Size Dart 10 Reslon Motion Fit Size Reslon 8.5 8.5 Black Purple b8ede94

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.