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
Saucony Liteform Miles Women's Lightweight Running Shoes Sneakers NEW US 7.0 , WOMENS PROPET TRAVELLITE SLIP ON SHOES W3248 TAUPE US SIZE 10 (466) , New Balance Womens - Bone Walking Shoes Size 7.5 (352119) , New Nike Air Total Core TR 2 Women Training Running Shoes Sz. 6.5 - 649845-175Funtasma Women's Arena 208 Black PU Size 6 MKEEN Brown Leather Casual Oxford Shoes Womens Size 37 / 6.5 , VANS New Sk8-Hi 46 MTE DX Vault Lady size USA 7VANS Sk8 Hi Slim Zip (Scotchgard) Obsidian/Blanc de Blanc WOMEN'S 5.5 , Reebok Classic NC Plimsole Women's Sports Shoes Casual Trainers UK3,5New Balance Womens Wcruzwt White/White Running Shoes Size 11 (346537) , Adidas Womens Lite Slipon W RawPurple/RawPurple/Pink Running Shoes Size 10EXCELLENT WOMENS NEW BALANCE 856 CROSS TRAINING SHOES Sz 12 2ANike Dual Tone Racer SE Women Shoes 940418-200 , ASICS Womens Metrolyte LightGrey/Silver/White Walking Shoes Size 11.5 (413317) , Vans SK8 Hi Slim Leather Canvas Bone True White Women's Size 10Caslon Gabe Genuine Leather Slip on Platform Sneakers Suede Blue Women's Sz 6 , Nike Women's Blazer hightop casual shoes Blue Green 317808-400 Women's 8.5NEW New Balance WX615GA Women Shoes Purple Sneakers Blemish size 8 B , NEW WOMEN VANS AUTHENTIC LO PRO NAVY TRUE WHITE ORIGINAL SO CUTEInov8 Terraclaw 250 Women's Black Red Trail Running Shoes Women's 8.5 , Columbia Walking Hiking Trail Athletic Shoes 3571--231 Brown/Pink Womens 8M EUCVans Style 23 V 2 Tone Leather Metallic Port Royale VN0A38GCMWX Womens Size: 5.5Women's CONVERSE All Star Low Top Sneakers Sz 1 1/2 multi colorNew Balance Womens - White/Pink Cross Training Shoes Size 11 (352099) , ASICS Womens Gel-Sonoma 3 Carbon/Silver/DivaPink Running Shoes Size 9.5 (419887) , LA Gear Ladies T-Raww Mesh Casual LA13R627K-3 Black Grey Womens US size 5Women Skechers Shape Ups Shoes Size 7 Athletic Walking Toning White Blue Silver , New Balance Womens - Gray Running Shoes Size 9 (C,D,W) (346647)New Balance Women 574PTF Classic Sneakers, Sliver Mink

“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.

IKRUSH Women's Leah Slip On Embellished Trainers Size in PINK Size 4Womens Minnetonka Brown Leather Slip On Clogs Mules Southwest Embellished 6.5Chinese Laundry Outcast Natural Flats SOFT TAN US SZ 6.0 M PRE OWNED D3159 , NEW MINNETONKA MOCCASIN WOMEN'S BROWN LEATHER SLIP ON SHOES SIZE 9 1/2 , Kenneth Cole Reaction Tan Flats Size 6Jabasic Women's Slip-on Loafers Flat Casual Driving Shoes7, Black-1Sz 6.5 Airwalk Women's Faux Fur Cheetah Slip On Skater Shoes , Old Beijing Cloth Embroidered Shoes Classical , MOOTSIES TOOTSIES Material Uppers Ballet Flats Women's Size 8.5 , SAS Sz 7.5 Silver Tripad Comfort Footbed Leather Slip-On Loafers NWOT , Clarks Artisan Leather Slip-ons Feature Fest (1599) Silver Size 8M Cust. Ret. , Born Size 6 M HOWELL Grey Tooled Leather Slip On Loafers Clogs New Womens Shoes , SAS Me Too Women's Mocha Brown Leather Tripad Comfort Shoes - US 8 WJessica Simpson Womens neverly Fabric Closed Toe Ballet Flats, Black, Size 9.5 , Ladies Navy Easy B Canvas Shoes SandySkechers Womens Shape-Ups Shape Walking Shoes Athletic Fitness White Silver Sz 8 , Converse All Star Black Wms 5 Double Tongue Pattern InteriorMen Sanuk Pick Pocket Slip On Fabric SMF1032 Black 100% Authentic Brand New , Steve Madden Women’s Navy Quilted Shoe Size 7On Cloud Womens Cloudrunner Blue Running Shoes Size 11 (358699) , NIKE WOMEN'S FLEX TRAINER CROSS TRAINING TENNIS SHOES BLACK PINK SZ 9 EUC! $70 , Vintage Sporto Palm Tree Design Canvas Sneakers Women's Size 7 Retro USA , Cole Haan Slip On Shoes Slides Sneakers Size 7B Blue Suede Womens , Luxury Rebel Womens Juniper2 White Fashion Sneakers 6 Medium (B,M) BHFO 9454Women's LE COQ SPORTS Charline Bordeaux Clearance Price Athletic Shoes , Spirit X - Dr. Comfort - Diabetic - Extra Depth - Womens Size 7.5 Wide , Skechers Women's You Luxe Slip-On Black/White Walking ShoesWomens Converse Pink Chuck Taylor LOW Top OX Fuchsia 155576F NEW , Converse Women's All Star Madison OX Purple Dusk Sneakers - Size 6/10 NWBVasque Women's Talus Trek Low Black Olive/Damson Ultradry Hiking Shoes 8.5M

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 Sz Nike NikeLab wolfeph-20624 Air Zoom Strong 2 922882-300 Crossfit Hasta Women's Sz 5.5 922882-300 b8013f2 -

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 Sz Nike NikeLab wolfeph-20624 Air Zoom Strong 2 922882-300 Crossfit Hasta Women's Sz 5.5 922882-300 b8013f2

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.