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
Jutti Punjabi Khussa Indian Women Shoes Leather Ballerinas Flip-Flops US 6-10US ETHNIC SHOE KOLHAPURI SLIPPER INDIAN LEATHER CHAPPAL TRIBAL MOJARI SHOE SS233 , Ryka Black Suede Sport Clogs Mules 6.5 NEW , Comfortview Women’s Shoes Brown with Defect New 8w , Jutti Indian Women Shoes Leather Handmade Mojaries Oxfords Flip-Flops US 6-12Jutti Indian Women Shoes Traditional Sandals Slippers Leather Loafers US 6-10KEDS BALLET FLATS 24-37.5 NEW craze mj heart geo cir eleanor rave tie skimmerVtg 80s Mootsies Tootsies Womens Flats Black Velvet Halloween Pumpkin Black Cat , Jutti Indian Leather Handmade Traditional Loafers Mojari Women Shoe US 6.5-7.5A2 AEROSOLES Stitch N Turn GOLD BUCKLE Loafer Ballet Flat Women Shoe Sz 9.5 �b2 , KURT GEIGER Carvela Ladies Yellow Black Ballet Flat Pump UK4 EURO 37 AUS 6Traditional Loafers Indian Women Shoes Handmade Mojari Leather New US 6/9Havaianas Women's Slim Hardware Flip Flops Black UK8 (41/42)MERRELL Primo Patch Womens 8 Brown Slip On Mocs Comfort Walking Oxford , Minnetonka Moccasins Double Fringe Bootie Black Suede Leather Womens 9 ZipperMinnetonka Women's Leopard Kilty Moc - Dusty Brown Suede - 7.5 , ANNE KLEIN Italy Ladies Sz. 7.5 M NWOB Brown Leather Flats Loafers $148.00 , Marc Fisher Black & Gold Captoe Bow Jodi Ballet Flats NEWCrocs Women's CitiLane Black Shimmer Slip-on Sneaker - Sizes 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10Chinese Laundry Size 6 Black New Womens ShoesTraditional Women Shoes Leather Flip-Flops Handmade Juti Indian Oxfords US 4-12 , Jutti Indian Women Shoes Leather Flip-Flops Handmade Oxfords Flat US 6-12 , Coeo+Sam Disco Leather Flats and Orthotic Friendly Summer Shoes , SAS 'Twin' Brown Leather Moc Toe Loafers Comfort Walking Shoes Women's Sz. 8.5 NAGL Cap Toe Brown Leather Flats Attilio Giusti Leombruni Size 37.5 Us 7.5Munro 9.5M 40.5 brown suede driving penny loafers womens ladies flats M555126Lands' End 8.5 Brown Suede Ballet Flats Shoes Womens Chocolate Brown2 Lips Too "Too Paige" Women - Flats Women Black Size 8.5MTraditional Handmade Women Shoes Leather Oxfords Indian Mojari Jutti US 6-12

“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.

Black BALLET FLATS Shoes Slip on w Thin Bows EUC 7 1/2 7.5 US from Korea , Women’s Red Ballet Flats Eu38. Us Size 7.5 (7 1/2) Made In FRANCE , Bamboo Rock Denim Jewelled Flat Shoes Flats Womens sz 7 EUC , Karl Lagerfeld Paris Womens Leroux7 B/W Ballet Flats 7.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 9777Sperry Gray Off White Canvas Sequin Boat Shoes Size 7 , Apostrophe Kerry Cherry Leather Women,,'s Shoes 6.5 M Made In BrazilDANI BLACK SNAKESKIN PRINT LOAFER SIZE 7.5MB.O.C Womens Size 7 Flats Cheetah Print Shoes Animal Print Born Boc , Tempur-Pedic Size 6 Brown Mary Janes , ETRE WOMENS LOAFERS RED SIZE 9 , New Converse All Star American Flag Sneaker, wm 7.5, run bigNatural Soul Zella Textured Faux Leather Shoes, Women's - Size 7.5 W, BlackKenneth Cole Ken Slip On Sneaker - Women's Size 6.5M, BlackA2 by Aerosoles Rock Solid Flats Shoes Rock Solid Tribal Fabric Sz.US 9/DANSKO SUEDE BROWN MARY JANE WOMEN'S SHOES, / US 6.5 - 7Ryka Maroon Leather Mesh MaryJane Slip-on Athletic Sneaker 201083 Women 9.5 / 41 , Gotta Flurt Women's Ca-Hidisco Black 8M Worn Once , The Fix Women's Ellie Studded Mary Jane Ballet Flat - Choose SZ/ColorBjorndal BEIGE LEATHER CLOG Womens 10 122802 Minimal Wear.. Worn Once , TS shoes TAKING SHAPE sz 6 / 37 Coral Lisbon Wedge super-comfy wide NIB rrp$170!Womens Shoe One Star Pink Canvas Converse Running Walking Sneakers Size 5 , Skechers Sport Womens Gratis Simply Serene Wide Fashion SneakerW US , Women's adidas Superstar Slip-On Quality Primacy Athletic Shoes , Nike Air Zoom HyperAce Womens Volleyball Shoe Black White SZ 6 902367-001 , Vans Runner Aqua Sea Blue Skate Shoes Size Men 6.5 Women 8 , Skechers Womens Bikers-Tropicana Flat- Pick SZ/Color.Saucony Women's Excursion TR11 Running Shoe - Choose SZ/ColorNike WMNS Kaishi 2.0 II women lifestyle casual sneakers NEW gamma blue crimson , Asics Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 White Orange Lime Yellow HN567 Women's Size 7New Balance 999 WL999MMA Black Grey Blue White Women's Sz 8 B NEW!!! ,

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

Merrell Walking Skynight Burnt Red Women's SZ 26492 7.5 SZ M Slip On Loafers Flats Walking Shoes e241fd1 -

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

Merrell Walking Skynight Burnt Red Women's SZ 26492 7.5 SZ M Slip On Loafers Flats Walking Shoes e241fd1

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.