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
SAS Size 7 Cream Flats Women's Shoes , Mephisto Cool Air Womens Shoes Size 8 B Eur 38 Suede Slip On Loafers Tan , Womens MARC JOSEPH 'Cypress Hill Exotic' Snake Loafers Flats Shoes SIZE 6.5 MSoludos Women's Watermelon Platform Smoking Espadrille Slippers Sand MM1 Size 10 , NATURALIZER CALE Ladies Brown Square Toe Croc Print Texture Loafer Sz. 8.5 M NIBVince Verrell White Womens Shoes Size 8.5 M Flats MSRP $195 , RAYE Dani Black & White Tie Up Polka Dot Espadrilles Flats Sandals SZ 37 (6.5) , 9.5M VanEli Black Suede Zipper Back Wedge Peep ToeDansko Livie Women's Shoes Burnished Nappa - Women's size 6.5/7 - Brown , Salvatore Ferragamo Tan Suede Loafers Size 7The Flexx Zucchero Black Flower Floral US 6 comfort ballerina flat slideEric Michael Serena Shoes - Women's Size 5.5-6 - NavyJslides Black Leather Aurora Embellished Fashion Sneakers Womens Size US 7.5M , Adrianna Papell Blush Shiny flats size 10Ivy Kirzhner Musical Embellished Hunter Green Velvet Loafer Jeweled White FurNAOT Nina 6.5 Black Flat Slip On Women's ShoesDr. Scholl's Scout Slip On Sneaker - Women's Size 8.5M Dark grayCole Haan Tali Oxford II White Parchment Patent Leather Suede Wmn Shoe 8B D40292 , Cole Haan Men's Size 10B Two-Tone Vintage Leather Loafers Driving ECSUNO Metallic Fabric Women's Ballet Flats Leather Soles made in Italy Size 37/7New Dr Martens Polley Daze Buckle MaryJane Pink Orange Green Floral Women's Sz 6Rockport Women's Walk360 Ballet,Ebano Nubuck,US 6 MMarc Fisher Bryleigh Slip On - Women's Size 7.5M Dark Red , ENZO ANGIOLINI AUSTYN ESPADRILLE FLATS - SIZE 10 MTe Casan Manuela Filipovio Womens Ballet Flats Sz 39.5 Suede Limited EditionFarylrobin x Free People Womens Geo Plains Sandals Shoes White Size 11 NewAlegria By PG Lite Feliz Clogs Sandals Mary Janes Shoes Snake Reptile Womens 36NIB Dolce Vita NALLA Suede Oxfords Loafers Flat Shoes Sz 8.5 TealKeen Sienna Women Orange Coral Elastic Mary Jane Flats Shoe 9.5M ,

“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.

Footprints by Birkenstock Women's Size US 7 Black Leather MulesDansko Women 37 6.5-7 Tamara Chocolate Brown Leather Clog Slip-On Mule WorkCole Haan Tan Suede Loafers Size 7.5 , KRUSH ELIZA Women Bow Loafers Size 8 Black , Lot of 2 Women's Shoes US 7.5 Naturalizer Navy Pumps & FlatsLoeffler Randall Sand/Black Grier Elastic Ballet Flats NWOB SZ 8 1/2 BBetsey johnson EVER sz 7 metallic silver flat shoes rhinestone embellished bowKlogs Vadale Womens Leather Clogs Display Model Black 8 M , CONVERSE Ladies Gray Canvas Sneakers Size 7M/ , Spring Women's Patent Leather Oxfords Rhinestone Jewel Decor Oxfords Pump Shoes , Lucky Brand Womens Marza Sneakers Sesame Size 10M , NIKE AIR womens athletic shoes size 7, silver blue , Guinness Men’s Novelty Mule Style Slippers , New Penny Loves Kenny Womens 58011-16-W-090 BlackVelvet Fashion Shoes Size 9Women's Size 8.5 M NEW BALANCE 443 White Multi Color Leather Athletic SneakersNike Hyperspike Flywire 7.5 Women Black 585763-001 Shoes Zoom Volleyball , SUSHAN Women Walking Shoes Breathable Women Running Shoes Mesh Sneakers 826 39More Mile Cheviot 3 All Terrain Womens Trail Outdoor Walking Running Shoes BlackWomen's womens puma shoes Superior In Quality Athletic Shoes , Women's easy spirit women slip on Big Clearance Sale FlatsVlado Footwear Women's Atlas 2 Pink Grey Weave Hi-Top Sneakers IG-1500W-W103Women's Reebok Classic Leather Sea Worn - Purple - Width: med - Fashion Sneakers , Sam Edelman Leya Women's Blue Suede Fashion Sneakers Size 10 M NEW! , ASICS Womens Q750n.4993 Blue Walking Shoes Size 8.5 (31404) , Nike Womens Air Max Neutral Ride Soft 7.5 Running Shoes , STEVEN by Steve Madden Womens Kenner Leather Low Top Slip On, Olive, Size 6.0Saucony Redeemer ISO Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 7.5, Silver/NavyAdidas NMD R2 Boost Women’s Size 10 Gore Tex White Athletic Sneaker Shoes ZU-896Skechers Shape Ups Womens 8.5 Toning Sneakers Shoes White Gray Leather MeshEasy Spirit Women's Travelport Navy & Brown Slip On Clogs Size 9.5 NWOB ?

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

Women's Jeffrey Campbell Ruston Jeffrey Shoes NEW! Silver Campbell Pointed Toe Flats Size 8 M NEW! 2d239dd -

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

Women's Jeffrey Campbell Ruston Jeffrey Shoes NEW! Silver Campbell Pointed Toe Flats Size 8 M NEW! 2d239dd

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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


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.