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 betsyville black fabric purple flower ruffled loafers shoes size 10Diesel "Clarita" Cream And Tan With Pink Suede Trimming Women Shoes Size 11 M , Sperry Top-Sider Women's Westport Blue Seer/Coral Flat 9.5MNEW Womens SODA RENEE BLACK Knit Slip On Flats Loafers Dress Shoe SZ 6 , Nickels Women's Black Sudede Leather Flats sz 6B Never Worn IOB Italy Retail $92 , Sperry top sider wmns 5.5 silver metallic slip on shoes moccassins loafers flats , Adrienne Vittadini Premier Women's Grey Rounded Toe Ballet Flats Size US 6.5 Msize 5.5 Easy Street Holly Navy Mules Slides Slip On Womens ShoesGrasshoppers Women's Lacuna a-Line Fashion, Black/Grey Herringbone, Size 5.0 , womens mootsies tootsies martina cream skin print loafers shoes size 6 1/2NEW PUPLE SNEAKER SYLE LOAFER SHOES 6 , Madden Girl Centurie Womens Shoes Size 7.5 Silver Metallic Ballet Flats , Capezio Fan Shell Combination Item Woman’s Shoes. Made In U.S.A. , NEW Womens S.O. MARCOE NAVY Espadeille Slip On Flats Loafer Dress Shoe SZ 5Columbia 3707 Womens Vulc N Vent Orange Canvas Casual Shoes 11 Medium (B,M)Comfortview Brown Reptile Print Synthetic Loafers Women's Size 9.5 MNEW Black silver studs BALLET FLAT SLIP ON MOCCASIN LOAFER WOMENS Shoes Size 5.5Chic By Liz Claiborne Ocean Mist Stile 03321298 100 Woman’s Shoes. , Sperry Top-Sider Bahama Women's Black Boat Shoe 9MSANDALES FEMMESTEPS HUSH PUPPIES T 38,5 CUIR AS KICKERS BUT NO KICKERS A AC$69 size 7.5 Bare Traps Mitsy Black Memory Foam Flats Slip On Womens Shoes , NEW Womens SODA RENEE pink Knit Slip On Flats Loafers Dress Shoe SZ 7.5Sperry Top Sider Chime Women's Grey Boat Shoe 10M , Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo Sport Womens Slip on Shoe Size 9 Tassel , Clarks Artisan Mule Clogs Brown Leather Buckle Women’s Size 9 M , angelina BY DE BLOSSOM COLLECTION Women's Vegan Suede Rope, Beige, Size 7.0A MARINELLI FROG LADYBUG TAPESTRY SHOES LOAFERS SIZE 9Circus by Sam Edelman Womens Tanner Fabric Closed Toe Loafers , Mint & Rose Amalfi Espadrilles Slip Ons Purple Size 7 New

“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.

Rockport AdiPrene By Adidas Red Leather Loafers Slip On Shoes Sz 9.5M WashableBELLISSIMO ADELE2 LADIES/WOMENS SHOES/FLATS/BALLET FLATS/CASUAL ON EBAY AUS! , NIB Jacques Levine LAURA Raffia Black Belgian Flats - Size 7 , Merrell J61662 Mimosa Fizz Stone Casual Mary Janes Shoes Women's Size 10 , Women's You by Crocs Flats Shoe Size 7.5 US/38 EU Black Patent Leather Italy AA9ARRAY Womens Freedom Leather Square Toe Loafers, Bone, Size 11.0 OTBgLouise et Cie Ashlin Ballet Flats - Black - Sz 6.5 M , Oxfords Womens Girl's Casual Block Mid Heels Round Toe Shoes Ankle Strap Sandals , ETIENNE AIGNER - TAN LEATHER LOAFERS - 7N - CHICKLETNine West Account Platform Lug Sole Loafers 517, Black, 6.5 USStubbs & Wootton Multi-color Woven Fabric Loafer Womens Size 11**NEW** Unstitched Fun shoes Women`s Size 6 U.S.Color. White with Floral print.Womens NIKE Grey and Yellow Livestrong Tennis Shoes Size 9 , LifeStride Women's Penny Penny Loafer, thunderstorm, 5 M US , ARRAY Womens Freedom Leather Square Toe Loafers White Size 7.0 S1KKNew Converse Womens Ctas Brush Off Black Fashion Shoes Size 5.5Reebok OSR Harmony Road Lilac/Cobalt-Steel BS8522 Women's SZ 9.5Skechers Shape Ups Walking Sandal Shoe Slingback Brown Leather 12295 Women 6 MWOMEN'S REEBOK HEXALITE X GLIDE GR BD2157 BLACK/WHITE/COAL DEADSTOCK BRAND NEWWomen's Nike Air Max Tavas Sunset Rainbow Shoes Sneaker Sz 9 Running Training O3 , Nike Air Max Excellerate Gray/pink Womens Running Athletic Shoes Size 5.5Keds Womens DOUBLE DECKER Canvas Low Top Pull On Fashion, quilt gray, Size 11.0Women's Cheerleading shoes For Your Selection Athletic Shoes , Women's Ladies Freestep Trainers Paradise A Complete Range Of Specifications Flats , WOMENS ADIDAS AMBERLIGHT W in colors WHITE / TURQUOISE / LEG INK SIZE 9.5 , Asics Gel-Quantum 360 CM Women Running shoes Aruba blue size 11NEW Vans SK8 Hi Canvas Slim Shoes Unisex Womens Light Purple Checkered Sz 4 5.5 , Propet TravelActiv Zip - Silver;White - Womens , New Balance Womens Size 8.5 Walking Shoes Black Leather Rollbar Graphite 928 , Columbia Women's Vulc N Vent Bright Pink Fashion Sneakers Shoes Size 9.5 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

New Studded Womens Ankle Strap Studded kelvinsi-6795 Faux Suede Espadrilles Flat Strap Casual Shoes 8d353f1 - 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

New Studded Womens Ankle Strap Studded kelvinsi-6795 Faux Suede Espadrilles Flat Strap Casual Shoes 8d353f1

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Associate degree in computer networking from Ivy Tech, 1995 graduate of Columbus North High School

Flats

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.