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
BOC BORN Concept SZ 7 Pink Brown Faux Snake Skin Slip On Clogs Shoes , Cole Haan shoes womens size 7.5AA brown leather woven loafers slip on , Aerosoles “Bonus” Women’s Penny Loafers Size 8 Shoes Red Casual Comfort , Madewell 1937 Size 7 Suede Black Brown Bow Flats Pointed Toe , BARE TRAPS Women's Size 7 1/2 M Brown Leather Slip-On Mule ClogsMBT Shoes Women's Mules Black Leather Toning Rocker Clogs Slingback ,Sz 6.5 , Women Leopard Plain Basic Ballet Flats Ballerina Pumps School Shoes Work Office , CLARKS Artisan ~ Brown Leather Woven Embossed Mules Sz 6 M * EXCELLENT COND.Tommy Hilfiger FRANK8 Flat Slip-On Mules 671, Medium Blue Suede, 10 US , HOT KISS Women's Size 6 1/2 M Black Patent Vegan Leather Mary Jane ShoesSoftspots Tru-Mocs womens "Dunaway" tassel loafers shoes 10 W tan leather02-2459 SoftSpots Neima Women's Black Shiny SIZE 10M , Donald Pliner Sport Sz 7.5 Driving Shoes Beige Canvas Leather Italy FW-009 , 02-1512 Rockport Women's Cobb Hill Ireland Tan SIZE 8NSKECHERS Size 7 M Brown Suede + Smooth Leather Adjustable Low-Heel Mary Janes , ZUMFOOT Women's Size 37 (6.5-7 US) Brown Leather/Suede Mary Jane Casual ShoesSOFT SPOTS VERY NICE BROWN SHOES SZ 6.5 W , WHITE WHT MOUNTAIN soft black leather bow Ballet flats slip on shoes 10 SAVANNAWomens Flats Ballet Style Shoes Silver Size 8 - BIN15DR. SCHOLL'S Scholar Women Ballet Flats Size 6.5M Brown Suede , Propet Preferred Ladybug Black Leather Upper Shoes Womens Size 8 1/2W , Women's Suede Leather Cut Out Ballet Flats Brown Sz 9.5 ~ DIANE VON FURSTENBERGNautica Flat Black Leather Sneaks size 8Voko Vital Purple Blueberry Suede Flats Pointed Toe Size 39 , GUESS Womens Shoes FLATS, Color: Light Brown Size 6.5 MBaretraps New Britta Blue Womens Shoes Size 8 M Fashion Sneakers MSRP $59Bellini Women's Light Brown With Suede Design shoes size 9 MWomen's Barefoot Freedom Drew Florence T-Strap Black Leather Orthopedic Shoes 8W , Women's Skechers, Brown Leather Slip In Walkers Size 8

“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.

Minnetonka Cally Slipper Moccasins - Grey US 10 , BOC Born Concept Clog Mules Brown Leather Slip On Comfort Women SZ 8.5 M BC 6433 , UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON SHOES WOMEN'S SIZE 5 , CROCS Tone 9 Skylar Flats Ballet Size 9 Black Pink Slingback Sandals Shoes , NEW Womens LOGO by Lori Goldstein Jackie Slides ASO QVC - Pick Size & ColorASGI WOMEN'S BLACK QUILTED & PATENT LEATHER SOLOPLEX COMFORT SHOES SZ 9Jeep J-41 Libra- Mesh strappy shoes 7.5 M excellent Retails $64crocs Womens Lina Ballet Flat, Black, 11 M US , Mix No 6 Womens Sarlinas Almond Toe Loafers Black Size 11.0 hFhXLILIANA Suede Almond Toe Black Ballet Flats Size 7 NewClarks Grey Perforated Nubuck Leather Medora Gemma Slip On Shoes 5.5 NewDonald Pliner Parke Lizard Floral Embossed Flat Size 8M , Skechers D'Lites Womens White Walking Shoes SN11420 Size 8.5 , 3C1 Born Leather Flats Casual Slip On Ballet Gold Round Toe Women Shoes Sz 7.5M , Paul Green Luxury Women's Drawstring Red Leather Sneakers 7 US Austria , VIONIC 'Spark Minna' Ladies Grey Snake Leather Ballet Flats Sz. 9 New , Rockport Cobb Hill Collection Paulette Brown Leather Slip on Shoes Loafers 8.5 MCole Haan Mules Women's 7 B Waterproof Brown Hiking Trail Leather Shoesbasket femme tres légère point 40 , Keds Purple Blue Pink Floral Womens 7.5 Med Sneakers Canvas Casual Shoes Classic , NIB Dr. Scholl's Kellie Therapeutic Sneakers Wide Width Sz 7 E WhiteMERRELL BARRADO LEATHER CHESTNUT ZIP-FRONT RUNNING shoes women sz 10Women's Winter Outdoor Shoes Retro Height Increasing Sneakers Warm Running Shoes , Women's Cole Hann Shoes Women 9.5 Easy To Use Flats , New Balance Size 6 515 Classics Sneakers New Womens ShoesWomen's Nike Zoom Fly Sister 1 + Plus Blue Mesh Athletic Sneaker Shoe Size 8.5WMNS Nike Free Transform Flyknit Women's Running Shoes, 833410 010 Size 8 NEWNike Wmns Flex 2016 RN Shield Green Red Bronze Women Running Shoes 852447-300 , Vibram Trek Ascent FiveFingers Shoes sz 40 EU sz 9 US 15w4605 Pink Purple GrayNEW Womens Size 7 NEW BALANCE 442 OOG White Green Low Profile Sneakers Shoes ,

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

Clarks Mary Bendables Womens Mary Jane Loafers Bendables Size 6.5 M Black Black Leather Casual EUC b15e72e - 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

Clarks Mary Bendables Womens Mary Jane Loafers Bendables Size 6.5 M Black Black Leather Casual EUC b15e72e

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.