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
DC SHOES ANVIL TX BLACK/BLUE SKATEBOARDING SHOES WOMENS SIZE 10.5WOMENS NIKE DUAL FUSION LITE RUNNING SNEAKERS 599560-008 Gray Pink Size 10 , SPERRY TOP-SIDER "BLUEFISH" LEATHER SHOES LADIES US 6.5 MED EURO 36.5 NEWSaucony Womens S10361 Grey/Black Running Shoes Size 8 (362315)Skechers sz 10M Performance Go Step black walking womens tennis shoes 14200 , Avia Avi-Pulse Women's Silver/Black/White Running Athletic Shoes Sz 9 Excellent! , WOMEN'S REEBOK ZIGWILD TR2 BD2272 RUNNING SHOES BD2272 SIZE - 8New Women's Nike Air Zoom Gem leather Gray & White Golf Shoes Size 10 Free ShipMerrell Performance Footwear Select Grip Womens Size 10 Slip On Zip Shoes BlackWomen's 8 Medium Width New Balance 811 Walking Shoes Motion Control , New! Women's Skechers 14227 Go Step - Vast Athletic Sneakers - Char/Black J19 , Skechers Women's Gwinner Black Sneakers Size 7.5WElan Womens Athletic Outdoor Shoes Bright Green/black Size 37 EXCELLENT!! , ARIZONA JEANS CO (CHIOS) BLACK HIGH TOP SNEAKERS NEW IN BOX , Merrell Womens Kangaroo Eggshell Brown Athletic Hiking Shoes Size 11M #A74 , G by GUESS Citti Slip On Sneakers - Women's Size 11M, Gray , Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Womens Running Workout Shoes Size 8.5 Ladies White K7 , Merrell Barrado Womans Shoes 6 Black Leather Outdoor Hiking Slip On Zip Up Sport , New LAUREN RALPH LAUREN JANUARY Deep Dad Tan Soft LEATHER SNEAKER SHOES 8SKECHERS Shape Ups 11803 Womens Toning Walking Rocker Shoes White Blue Grey 9.5 , Women's GUC Altra Superior 2.0 ATR Running Shoes Pink Black color Sz 10.5 M , Womens Skechers (22708) GLIDER ELECTRICITY Sneakers 17H , Womens Skechers (12459) MATRIXX MODERN ESSENTIAL Sneakers (23N)Womens Reebok Flexride Running Shoes/size 7.5/very StatelyBROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 14 Womens RUNNING SHOES SIZE 8.5Women's Nike Flex Supreme TR 5 Running Shoe Medium Blue/Black/Still Blue Sz 8.5Clarks Women's Brown/Pink Sneakers 6.5 UStwiggy LONDON Slip-On Canvas Sneaker 335560Saucony Womens Grid Omni Black Walking Shoes Size 9.5 (C,D,W) (356726)

“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.

$170 WOLKY "Ballet" Gray Snake Print Slip-on Ballerinas Flats womens 38 , IKRUSH Womens Nanna Open Slip On Glitter TrainersSupreme by Softspots 7.5 brown Mary Janes womens fisherman sandals flatsEcco Tan Plain Toe Leather Hook & Loop Shoes Women’s Size Us 7NEW JBU by Jambu Womens Cordoba Flat Clog Shoe Black Size 7 Leather Nursing NIB , MAMMOTH FLAT CROCS SHOES WOMAN’S 10 PINK BRAND NEW NWT RELAXED FIT FUR LINED �AGL Black Leather Cap Toe Ballet Flats, Size 35Womens Grace Wedding Bridal Flats Pearls Pumps Rhinestones Shoes Slip on LoafersL.L. Bean 6.5 Black Slip-On Mocs Shoe Women's , Women's Highland Creek Sanibel Green/ Brown Leather Boat Shoes US 6M Sz Clean , Bucco Women's Capensis DUDA Flat White Leather Platform Sandal Size 10mBirkenstock 36 L5 230 Leather Classic Strap Clog Sandal Birki Papillio Germany , PW Minor Pleasure Strap Taupe Leather Diabetic Comfort Shoe Womens 8.5 W Wide , Women’s MIZUNO Wave Lightening Black Volleyball Shoes. Size 9 , White Women Lady ALL STARs Chuck Taylor Ox Low Top classic Canvas Sneakers US7Women's Teva 6034 Enhanced Comfort Ortholite Black Suede Shoes Size 8.5Anthropologie J/Slides Pom Pom Slip On Sneakers Shoes Green Satin $138 Size 9Women's Brooks Dyad 8 Size 8D Sneakers Shoes Running Blue Gray Purple W11Nike Women's Shoe Lunartempo Light Aqua Mesh Running Sneakers NIB 7.5MNew Balance W890YP2 Womens Running Shoes SZ 8.5 BNike WMNS Roshe One Retro women lifestyle sneakers run NEW racer blue maizeConverse All Star Chuck Taylor Low Tops Pink Sapphire Velour Size 6 , Under Armour Women's Vanish Mid Heathered Sports Bra - Choose SZ/ColorASICS Womens Gt-2000 5 Trail Aluminum/Silver/Orchid Trail / Hiking Shoes Size 9ASICS DEFIANCE X S758N 9648 MIDGREY ALUMINUM BLUE WOMEN SHOES SIZE 6.5 TO 9 , Zoot Black Hot Pink Shoes Z130102101 Sz 9.5M , Nike Capri III LTH Women's Fashion Shoe 579619 011 Size 12Merrell Capra Gore Tex Trail Shoes Women's Size 6Adidas Gateway AF4663 Pink US Size 6 - FREE SHIPPING - BRAND NEW , WOMENS REEBOK FREESTYLE HI CB BS7860 Mineral Mist/White

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

COLUMBIA kelvinsi-21980 PeakFreak Low Hiking 21981 Sneakers Trail Women Shoes Sneakers Sz 7.5 M $160 BL3749 f37c37a - 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

COLUMBIA kelvinsi-21980 PeakFreak Low Hiking 21981 Sneakers Trail Women Shoes Sneakers Sz 7.5 M $160 BL3749 f37c37a

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.