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
Dr. Scholl's Women's Madison Fashion Sneaker, Bone Perforated Slip On Cushioned , Blondo Women's Glance Waterproof Sneaker, Pink, Size 7.5Saucony Women's Grid Caliber TR Trail Runner Shoe Size US 7 , PUMA Women's Roma Classic Met Safari Wn Sneaker Black Size 6.0 , Abyssinian Cat (Halloween) Print-Running Shoes For Women/Kids-Free ShippingNIB - BRADFORD EXCHANGE 'ALFRED DURANTE' Black/Gold SHOES - W 8.5Lugz Women's Regent Lo Sneaker White Canvas SneakersSuperga 2790 Cotmetu Platform Sneaker, 7PUMA Basket Heart Night Sky Women's Baja Blue/Baja Blue 36410803 , Asics Gel 190 - TR Women's Running Shoes Size US 6 White S571N NWOB , Women's Reebok Princess Sneakers White Melody Ehsani Dance Fitness Shoes 10Skechers Women's Go Vulc 2 Walking Shoe, Gray, Size 7.5 , Fabulicious Women's Poise 501UV Slide Clear PVC/Neon Blue Heeled SandalsSketchers Mens Shoes Shape Ups 52004 Gray Training Walking Size 7.5 US , Kenneth Cole New York Womens Keating Fabric Hight Top Pull On Fashion SneakersPropét Women's Stability Walker Strap Walking Shoe,, White, Size 9.0 nejn , Aerosoles Women's Fast Bet Ballet Flat Floral Combo Leather Comfort ShoesK-Swiss Womens Classic VN 50th Anniversary White Gold Casual Sneaker Shoe Sz 9.5 , Women AQ2237 Adidas Falcon Elite 5 Running shoes grey sneakersVans Old Skool Women's Sepia Rose/Blanc De Blanc A38G10DZ , G by Guess Womens chello Fabric Low Top Fashion, Black fabric, Size 6.5 tBROOKS WOMENS ADRENALINE GTX GORE TEX RUNNING SHOES WITH 99% TREAD SIZE-8 , Lucky Brand Women's Gelso Ankle Tie Sandal Sandbox Nubuck Sandals , Nike Air Max Womens Sneakers Size 5.5 Black Red And Gray Suede , new SHIEKH black Women's Iva Sneaker SOFT breathable flexible sexy Size 7.5 , NIKE WOMEN CLASSIC CORTEZ LIB QS WHITE/BLACK 746698 100 SZ 6Saucony Kilkenny XC7 Spike Women's Denim/Slime S190411 , Merrell Women's Size 10 Siren Waterproof Mid Hiking Boot,Castle Rock/Blue , Women Sneakers Reebok CM9003 Jet Dashride 6.0 Running shoes black grey yellow ,

“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.

Karen Scott Womens RYLEE Cap Toe Slide FlatsJ CREW FACTORY BLUME BLACK BALLET FLATS ~7 MECCO Black Mesh/Leather Comfort Foam Ballet Flats Shoes Women 39Predictions ~ BLACK SHOES ~WOMENS SIZE 7 ~ Slip on ~LIFESTRIDE Viva Velocity Memory Foam Black Leather Women's Loafers Size 10 , Gold Toe Women's Eve Knit Ruched Knotted Bow Pointed Toe Ballet Flat Dress Sl...Clarks Sillian Metallic Womens Shoes Size 8.5 M Flats MSRP $80Froon Women's Woven Flat Mary Jane Shoes Slip On US Size 11.5 Black , Pink Paradox-London Blue Nylon Flats Size 8.5M Bow Tassel Design , Lauren Ralph Lauren Barrett Blue Womens Shoes Size 6 M Flats MSRP $98 , Sperry Top-Sider A/O 2-Eye Women's Flats & Oxfords Size 7.5 , LADIES CLARKS BLACK PATENT COATED LEATHER FLAT SHOES DISCOVERY DIMENIKE FLEX RUN WOMENS BLACK/ WHITE FITSOLE SHOES SIZE 6.5 , ? Asics? Gel Venture 3 Running Shoes Silver Purple T283N Women's Sz 9 , Womens Ralph Lauren Polo Sport X-67 Shoes Athletic Fashion Sneakers Size 10NEW IN THE BOX WOMEN'S NIKE VANDAL LOW SIZE 11.5 METALLIC WHITE /YELLOW/PINK , MG35 Brooke Slip on Low Top Sneakers 267, White, 8.5 USNew Balance WX1267BP Women's Cross Training Shoes Size US 9 Running AthleticNEW BALANCE RUNNING 590 V2 WOMENS SIZE 5 TORQUISE SNEAKERS, NEW W/OUT BOX , Sperry Women's Seaside Suede Memory Foam Slip-On Sneakers Size 8 Light Purple , New Balance abzorb womens gray/black running shoe size 6 good conditionSperry Women's Top-Sider a/O 2-Eye Boat Shoe, Grey (STS81167) sz 8.5 M i213 , Nike Lunar Links 418376-171 White/ Gold Women's Golf Shoes Size 6Merrell Womens Accentor Mid Wp Hiking Shoes, Castlerock/beet Red , NWT Women's Born Manona Leather Wedge Heel Sandals Red/Black/Natural Retail $85 , AG135 LOTTO shoes blue textile leather women sneakersPuma Women's Vikky Platform Ribbon Leather Fashion Sneaker , Women's Skechers You Spirit - Black/White - Width: med - WalkingNew Balance 620 Tokyo Design Studio New Size 7 US CW620MWHNew Vans Atwood Womens Skateboarding Shoes VN-OU4IDXG White Size 9 US ,

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

Bar III Womens Bar Hint qGKY Low 26493 Top Slip On Fashion Sneakers White Size 7.5 qGKY cde841a - 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

Bar III Womens Bar Hint qGKY Low 26493 Top Slip On Fashion Sneakers White Size 7.5 qGKY cde841a

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.