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
CONVERSE WOMEN'S CTAS OX 560644C (WASHED LINEN) ALMOST BLACKMERRELL Continuum Dusty Olive Vibram Hiking Trail Womens Sz 7.5 Shoes Outdoor , Womens VIVOBAREFOOT EVO ll Sz 6 BAREFOOT Minimalist Running Shoe Sneakers , Vans Sk8 Hi Decon SPT CA Italian Weave Blue Black Women's 8 Skate Shoes New , Ladies crossfit nano 7.0 shoes size 9Nike Zoom Rival M 8 Track Field Shoes Womens Sz 8 Racing Spike Blue 806559-401 , Salomon Sense Link Trail Running Shoes Sneakers Training Womens Size 7.5 EUC , Skechers Women's Go Vulc 2 Ankle-High Leather Fashion Sneaker , New Balance Women's Size 7.5 Wide WX409WB3 White Cross Training Shoes F6-8 , Adidas Womens - White Running Shoes Size 8 (359560)Bella Vita Clementine Laser Cut Sneakers, DenimMinnetonka womens size 9 black boots sheep skin shearling , Nike Womens Magista Orden FG Soccer Cleats Shoes 658571-002 Size 6.5ASICS Womens Gt-2000 4 Silver/Turquoise/LimePunch Running Shoes Size 8 (359551) , Merrell Women's FULLBENCH COMPOSITE TOE CSA WORK SHOE Black Size 7.5M , Skechers You Uplift - Navy - Womens , Steve Madden Womens 'Shufle' Sneaker Shoe , Womens New In Box Dr Scholls Brilliant Shoe Black Size 6.5 Memory Foam Comfort12841 Taupe Skechers shoes Memory Foam Women's Slip On Comfort Casual Knit MeshVans Off the Wall Surf Shoes Palisades Pink Hawaiian Floral Womens 10.5 Flats , NIKKEN Cardiostrides Weighted Exercise Shoes Women's Size 10.5 Magnetic , Bzees Cloud Technology Grey Abstract Landing Slip-on Sneaker Shoe 6.5 Sale , Women Size 10 Multicolor Nike Air Max Navigate Running Shoes 454249-102 preownedVANS New Authentic Pig Suede Vault Lady size USA 7WOMENS REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 6.0 SNEAKERS TRAINERS SIZE 10 AR0488 KEVLAR , NEW Rescue Pets"Paws Galore"Contour WALKING SHOES Ladies Sz7 White/Purple/MultiECCO Golf Women's size 38 US 7-7.5 M Golf Shoes Tan & WhiteREEBOK WOMEN FITNESS & TRAINING ROS WORKOUT TR V70384 Sz: 11 , NEW Woman Fila V3 Atheletic Shoes Size 10 ,

“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.

Women's Skechers, Brown Leather Slip In Walkers Size 8 , Spring&Summer Woman Shoes Ankle Straps Buckle Flats Pointed Toe ShoesBlue Bridal Shoe Women Jooti Velvet Mojari Peacock Embroidered Khussa US 8Native Shoes Miller Gray SlipOn Water Shoe Pigeon Grey/White Sz M4/W6 -RED/GENUINE SNAKESKIN LEATHER /LADIES SHOE//EU36/37/UK4/jackson twins/orp , Women's Shoes 11W Loafers SAS Leather black comfort EXC!Clarks Brown Leather Slip On Comfort Heel Loafers Clogs Casual Shoes 7.M (S254) , BORN Women US 9 Brown Leather Mary Jane Clog Style Mule Casual Comfort BuckleJ-41 Jeep Genesis Vegan Strappy Hiking Walking Brown Blue Flats Shoes Size 11 MEasy Spirit oxford shoes sz.6.5B brown suede comfort casual daily wardrobe New , LONDON SOLE WOMEN'S SIMPLE PLATINE LEATHER BALLET FLAT SHOES GOLD 39 , Women Man ALL STARs Chuck Taylor Ox Low High Top shoes casual Canvas Sneakers SZ , DANSKIN NOW WHITE & BLUE SHOES WOMENS SIZE 8 , BEJEWELED SATIN SNEAKER WOMEN JULIETTE-3-13 ELEGANT LT GREYRYKA TEANNA V1 Women’s Sz 11 M White Light Canvas Mesh FITNESS Sneakers Shoes , Gola Reef Women's Shoe Casual Sneakers Reflex Blue NEW Sizes 6 7 8 9 &10 , Clarks Unstructured Womens Un.Loop Slip-On Black Leather Size 7 Narrow , Merrell women's wild dove mimosa glee light gray nubuck sneaker size 9 EUC!CONVERSE WOMENs SIZE 5 GLITTER GRAY OX ADMIRAL BRAND NEW SHOES SHOE SALEWomen's DKNY Sneakers Outstanding Features Athletic Shoes , Nike Flex Fury (705299-800) Women's Running Shoes Sneakers Trainers , ASICS Women's Gel-Contend 4 Black/Carbon T765N/9090 Shoe. Size 7 , New Balance Womens - Black Running Shoes Size 5.5 (3E) (361145)Skechers Air Style Fix - Grey - Womens , VANS Authentic Midnight Navy/True White Skate Shoes WOMEN'S Size 9 , NWT TED BAKER VLEIL CITRUS BLOOM FLORAL PRINT PINK ROSES HIGH TOP SNEAKER 7 $150New Women's Skechers 11930 D'Lites Biggest Fan Athletic Shoes Size 6 (N14) , DC Villain SE Womens Slip On Loafers Shoes Size 6 Black Pink Orange PurpleVtg Women Nike 2006 Shox grey black athletic running shoes 313764-042, sz 8Rockport Women's Trustride ProWalker Fashion Walking Shoe Sneaker Size 7 B,M

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

Skechers Performance Performance On kelvinsi-26449 The Go Womens Sz 10 26448 Shoes Gray 14405 e77338f - 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

Skechers Performance Performance On kelvinsi-26449 The Go Womens Sz 10 26448 Shoes Gray 14405 e77338f

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.