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
KLOGS CLOGS LANDRY WOMEN'S DISPLAY MODEL SHOES CARAMEL 8.5 MARAVON, TESS SLIP ON LOAFER, WOMENS, DARK GREEN/COPPER, US 10(AA), NEW/ DISPLAYMark Lemp By Walking Cradles 6 N Narrow Hardrock Flats New Womens ShoesKlogs NATALIE Clogs Women's WHITE Smooth Leather Display Model Shoes 10 M , KLOGS CLOGS BRISBY WOMEN'S DISPLAY MODEL SHOES WALNUT 9 MSperry Top Sider Size 9 Taupe Sneakers New Womens ShoesECCO WOMEN'S BOUILLON BALLERINA FLAT OLIVE LEATHER SUEDE EUR SIZE 41 US 11 MEDGEOX WINTEUR2 moccasins sale black d4374b , Vivobarefoot Womens Mata Slip On Loafer Shoes, Mole, 36 EU / US 6Vans Womens Sk8 HI MTE Shoes MTE Teak Blanc Size 5 New , Klogs Audrey Womens Clogs Shoes Display Model Leather Coffee Smooth 8 M , Pour La Victoire Mariza Mushroom leather Flat sandals Brazil NEW Open Toe Grey , Rieker Slippers with Soft Leather Insole, Brown NEW , Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn Womens Flats Size 6M Bone Leather Denim Alder New $130 , Klogs Polina Women's Clogs Display Model Shoes Black KPR 9.5 W , Klogs Missy Womens Clogs Shoes Display Model Leather Black Smooth 9.5 M , KLOGS CLOGS BRISBY WOMEN'S DISPLAY MODEL SHOES GOLDEN ROD 8 M , NEW ANDRE ASSOUS Slip On Purple Suede Leather Gold Tone Buckle Flats Sz 8.5 M , $175 New VIA SPIGA MATILDA Black Leather Designer Low Wedge Comfort Flats 7 , Ladies Shoe Rhinestone Pointy Toe Flat Shoes Suede Casual Ladies Slip On Loafers , DEMONIA Punk Gothic Lolita 3" Platform Silver Hologram T-Strap Creepers Shoes , Klogs Sandy Womens Clog Shoes Display Model Slate 8 WLADIES SHOES/FOOTWEAR - neckermann N2602 thong green flower , $200 VIA SPIGA DOTTIE Dark Olive Green Snake Leather Designer Ballet Flats 9.5 , KLOGS CLOGS HALEY WOMEN'S DISPLAY MODEL SHOES SLATE 9 WChloe Womens Shoes Size 36 6 Gray Metallic Suede Ballet Flats CasualKlogs Trixie Women's Leather Clogs Display Model Shoes Black Tintoretto 7.5 MSeychelles Survival Women's White Leather Slip On Round Toe Mule Flats Size 6.5LADIES SHOES/FOOTWEAR - Neckermann Thong N2602 white floral ,

“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.

SKECHER'S " Go Walk" Woman's Size 9.5 pink slip on shoesBorn Womens Brown Leather Marit Woven Shoes 9Franco Sarto Womens scranton Leather Pointed Toe Mules, Black su, Size 11.0 aiDhClarks Brown Leather Mules 37323 Shoes Made in Brazil Size 10M Comfort & Style , ZIGINY, ADORABLE SANDAL, WOMENS, SYNTHETIC, WHITE, US 6M, NEW WITHOUT BOXCrocs Women Dressy comfortable shoes 9 W teal flat circles circles unique , Choice of Color DV by Dolce Vita Paige Two Piece Flats Shoes NWOB A167 , FS/NY Gray Silver Tone Rhinestone Metallic Ballet Flats Size 6.5 , Belle Sigerson Morrison 7 Pink Suede Leather Bead Embellished Ballet Flat Work , Born Mindy Leather Moc Toe Loafers Shoes Women's Size 10 M Red Buckle W51770Nurture Women's Shoe Black Leather Espadrille Flat Loafer Shoes Size 7 / 9.5 M , Prada womens shoes US Size 7 , NWOB Clarks Women's Danelly Adira Leather Silver Perforated Slip On Shoes Sz 11M* 2 PAIR LOT * Clarks UnStructured Women’s Shoes Size 7.5 W Loafer Flats Slip OnVasque 7347 Monolith UltraDry Women's Hiking Ankle Boot SZ 9 M Gray Green , Women's Sneakers Casual Shoe Breathable Running Walking Lightweight Sport Sandal , Salvatore Ferragamo Women's Brown Leather Brogues in Size 8 , Womens Saucony shadow 5000 Blue Running Shoes Size 7M (E390)Tretorn Womens Wtblaire Dark Light Blue Fashion Sneaker Size 5 (20297)Womens Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Shoes Sz 7 Womens EucSKECHERS WOMENS GO FLEX MAX STRENGTH RUNNING PERFORMANCE SHOES /BBK , Women's PUMA Vikky Ribbon Rose Clients First Athletic Shoes , Pleaser Women's Gala 41 Black Satin/BlackECCO Women's Soft 7 Quilted Tie , SZ 5 MERRELL Women's Vapor Glove 3 Shoes, ChiliVans Bali SF (Hemp) Khaki Slip On Skate Shoes WOMEN'S Size 8 , Puma Mostro Strap Up Black Textile Womens Trainers 363391 01 U8Merrell Womens J09662 HighRise Trail / Hiking Shoes Size 7.5 (414283)Ryka Luxe Burgundy Red Slip on Casual Sneaker Shoe Flats NEWTidewater Sandals Women's Sunset Flip Flop Pink/Gold Thong Sandals ,

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

Klogs Genesis Smooth Womens Genesis Shoes Display Model Black STD 25712 Smooth 9 M 487178b -

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

Klogs Genesis Smooth Womens Genesis Shoes Display Model Black STD 25712 Smooth 9 M 487178b

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.