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
Dexter Comfort Classics Womens Flats 8N Beige Leather Woven Slip On USA Shoes , ECCO Mary Jane Flats Sandal Leather Women's , Munro Womens Dark Brown Shoes 10 Leather Slip on Oxford Loafers Heels 206621Sperry Top-Sider 6.5 Blue Canvas Boat Shoes WomensNaturalizer Brown Leather Loafer Womens Mule Heel Shoes Size 8.5 M 93821-1Nine West Jon Pull On Loafers 001, Black/ Light Gray, 7.5 USVtg Dermolast Made In Greece Plastic Shoes Woman's Sz 36 US 6 Blue**Steve Madden Ennore Slip On Shoes - Women's Size 7.5 - Blush , Cole Haan Air Sz 6 Gold Champagne Patent Leather Flats Buckle Round Toe , MATERIAL GIRL Mbrandy Red Women’s Flat Shoes, Red, Size 9 M , LifeStride Devlin Comfort Flats, Thunderstorm, 9 N USBorn Red Leather Mules Slides Slip On Loafers Work Dress Shoes Women Sz 7.5 38.5 , Earth Spirit Women Comfort Shoes Sz 9 Black Elastic Flats Walking Gelron Insoles , New Nine West Black Flat Shoes(SMARTMDVEL1) SIZE= 9/ 9.5/ 10.5 , ULLA POPKEN White off white Leather Flip Flop Sandals Gold Hardware Size 11 WWWomen Size 10 Crocs Black Leather Mule Clogs Quilted Patent Leather Accent , Børn Brown Leather And Suede Slip On Shoes Size 8MSperry Top - Sider Largo Slip On Womens Boat Shoes Size 7.5 M EucBorn Womens 6.5 Shiny Gold Leather Slip On Comfort Career Ballet Flats ShoesNine West Women's Timid L1 Ballet Flats Black W/Cut-Out Detailing Size 6 MJ-41 Womens Acacia Red Leather Sz 8.5 Slip On Strappy Shoes Flats (26-11) , Dansko Dark Brown Leather Professional slip on Women's Used Shoes 38 US 7.5Crocs sz 9 Eve Women's purple Pointed Toe Slip On Ballet Flats Shoes "EUC" , Tommy Hilfiger Cactus Espadrilles Platform Moccasin Flats 395, Natural, 10 USWomen Alegria Shoes PAL 526 Size 35 Multi Color Floral Leather Mary Janes , Sperry Top-Sider 9101882 Angelfish Black Leopard Boat Deck Shoes Women's 6.5 M , Talbots Black Velvet Leather Trim Ballet Flats Sz 8N Embroidered GolferBORN Womens Black Leather Ballet Flats Ruffle Braided Buckle Size 7 , Franco Sarto Fabrina Flat Loafers 728, Camel Leopard, 6 US / 36 EU ,

“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.

LifeStride Womens heidi Closed Toe Mules, Black floater, Size 6.5 RpGZCole Haan Country Womemns 6.5 M loafers Brown & Black leather kiltieNew Womens Classic Pointy Toe Suede Slip Ons ComfyIsaac Mizrahi Live Green Flats Ballet Style 7WLadies Black multi textile slip on dolly shoes,printed pattern on sole F8754Patagonia Women’s Size 8 Loafer Beige Blue Canvas Hemp Slip On Shoes , Softwalk Adora Women's Slip-on Shoe Sizes 71/2 Right Shoe 61/2 Left Shoe , Dansko Olena Black Suede Patent Cheetah Strap Venetian Loafer Women US 6.5KEEN Women's Suede Comfort Walking Ballet Flats Size 6.5 Burnt Orange , WOMEN'S SPERRY TOP SIDER LEATHER BALLET FLATS SIZE 7 M , Cole Haan Ivory Patent Leather Almond Toe Loafers Size 7.5B , FitFlop Women's Superballerina Ballet Flat Nude 10 M US , Lucky Brand Womens Echo2 Leather Closed Toe Ballet Flats, sesame, Size 7.5 eMIN , Ed Hardy Women's Gas Leak sneaker Shoe Brown 6Nautica Women's Lanyard Canvas Sneakers Shoes ALL SIZES BNIBCall It Spring Women's Adauni Fashion Sneaker , Women's Floral Print Van's Atwood sneakers size 10 new , Nike Flex Supreme TR 5 Woman Size 8 Black/White , New Balance WL520BK B Mesh / Suede Upper Black Beige Women Running Shoe WL520BKBadidas Core Grace Fade Grey Silver Womens Cross Training Shoes Trainers AQ5320 , Skechers 15611W Performance Womens Go Walk Joy-15611 Wide Sneaker , Zamberlan Women Hiking Shoes SH Crosser Gore-Tex? RR Waterproof Blue 7New Creative Recreation Cesario Lo Men's Tennis Shoes Size 10.5 Navy SneakersASICS WOMENS GEL LYTE III SZ 9.5 MAGENTA BURGUNDY RED H483N 2526NIB NEW COOGI AUSTRALIA FASHON/ATHLETIC STYLE DESIGNER SHOES SZ 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 9. , ? Reebok Womens RUN SUPREME 2.0 Trainers Shoes Sneakers Running V68878 ALL SIZESREEBOK Womens Classic Sneakers Shoes Vintage New 2 PAIR 2 Different Sizes 2004 , JBU Womens Aberdeen Low Top Slip On Running Sneaker , Top Moda Womens Sammy-40 High Top Strap Womens Hidden Wedge Sneaker Shoes , adidas NEO Womens Lite Racer Slip On W Casual Sneaker - Select Sz/Color

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

Simply Vera Sizes Vera Wang Women's Pointed-Toe 26499 Moss Grey Beaded Pointed-Toe Flats - Asst Sizes a4edf92 - 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

Simply Vera Sizes Vera Wang Women's Pointed-Toe 26499 Moss Grey Beaded Pointed-Toe Flats - Asst Sizes a4edf92

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.