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
Jack Rogers Women's Carter Sneaker , HOTTER MEMORISE SOLAR SHOES ORGINALLY $95 SIZE 7.5 , Converse Womens Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi Sneakers Pink Size 7 NewASICS GEL NOOSA TRI 7 WOMENS RUNNING SHOES SIZE 10.5 GLOW YELLOW PURPLE , Levi's, 515280-G62, Burbank 2.0 Canvas, Paloma , Sperry Top-Slider 80611 Women's Fathom Sport Shoes Color: Oat Size: 7.5 and 9.5 , Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Blue Fir White Womens Canvas Low Top Trainers , Puma Basket Classic Metallic Puma Black 362023 03 Women's SZ 7.5Vans Iso 2 Rapidweld Women's Size 7.5 Perf Delicacy White Pink OTW Rare , Vans Chukka Moc DX (Suede) Atlantic Deep Women's Size 8.5 , New Brooks Dyad Sneaker women's shoes size 8.5 WidePin Up Couture Women's Flapper 11 T-Strap Mary JaneNike Lunar Cross Element Running Training Magnet Grey Pink Women's US 9.5 NEWWomen's Nike x Serena Williams Blazer Mid Prm QS Shoes -Sz 10.5 -700869 100 -NewNEW NIKE AIR FEATHER HI HIGH Womens 6.5 Gray Purple force 1 LTD NR2017 Hidden Wedge Scrawl Platform Shoes Slip On Loafers Womens Pumps SneakersSaucony Women's Mystic Road Athletic Running Shoes Grey/Violet/Blue Size 6.0MSKECHERS Performance Go Walk 4 Exceed Black Women's Casual Sneakers 14146 , BZ800 CARRERA JEANS shoes blue canvas women sneakers , Mizuno Wave Rider 21 Running Purple/Blue Women's US 8 Eur 38.5 (I3,14) , WOMEN'S ASICS GEL-QUANTUM 180 BLACK/ONYX/PINK GLOW SIZE 8.5New Balance MD800v5 Women's Distance Track and Field Spike White Purple Size 8.5 , Skechers Women's D'Lites Ultra At The Top Sneaker , Vans SK8 HI CUP Leather Iron Brown/White Women's Shoes 6Mozo Women's Maven-Canvas 3738 LURK Lunar Rock Brand New Restaurant Worker ChefBrand New with box Merrell Women's Moab FST Granite Low Hiking Shoe 5.5MWOMEN'S NIKE AF1 ULTRA FORCE MID SHOES SIZE 7 gym red 654851 601 , Adidas Women's Terrex Voyager CW CP Athletic Sneaker Size 8Nike Air Zoom TR Dynamic Running Women's Mesh/White/Gray(849803-100)Various Size ,

“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.

NWB Tahari Carly cream and gold flats 8.5 8 1/2Steven Natural Comfort Lora Embroidered Sneaker Mule OLIVE BEE 10M NEW 560-800Franco Sarto Womens Loafer Pump 6.5 M Brown Ankle Boot Slip On BootieLower East Side Women's Brown Fabric Slip On Round Toe Ballet Flats US Size 6 , Shoes- Aerosole maryjane/mule/wedge womens 9 med pre-ownedClarks Artisan Collection Shoe Merlot Red Leather Flat Mule Slip On Footwear 7.5 , CLARKS 38944 Wave Brown Leather Closed Toe Toggle Shoes Sandals Women's US 9.5NICE Dr. Martens Classic Shoes Oxford Brown Leather-Women's US 8/Men's 7Pleaser Ballet Flat W/ Bow Accent Adult Women Flats Blk Pat Shoes , Natural Soul Carryon Loafer- Women's Size 8.5 W, Black , Merrell Women's 7 M Qform Comfort Mimosa Emme Cocoa Mary janes Walking Shoes , American Eagle NWT Women's Size 5.5MShoes Espadrilles Canvas Striped Blue Cream , New Santoni Club Italy Lt. Brown & Beige Semi High Top Sneakers Rubber Soles 6 BNEW Converse All Star Hi-Top Shoe Sneaker Royal Blue White Sz Womens 10 / Mens 8 , SKECHERS Women's Aluminum Toe Steel Plate Work Athletic Slip Resistant Shoes 8MNike Torch 4 Running Shoes Black Synthetic Women7.5Medium (B, M)Womens Vogue Black Sneakers Pumps Slip on Shoes Running Athletic Wedge A3612 , 9.5/41 BORN Black Leather Slip On Loafers Oxfords Comfort Walking Shoes ClogsKlogs Women's Geneva Slip-on Black Shire , Asics GT-2000 Hot Fuchsia Pink Mesh Running Shoes Sneakers, Size 9.5Nike Free 4.0 V2 Running Sz 10 Workout Pink Gray White 511527-062 , NIKE Air Max Destiny Womens Red/White Basketball Shoes Sneakers 454148 Size 13 , Chic New Womens Slip On Shoes Sneakers Sports Hiking Walking Athleeic Creepers , Women's Naturalizer Women's Cypress Flat Characteristical Athletic Shoes , Merrell MQM Flex Hiking Shoes (For Women) Size 10Teva Freewheel Sneaker - Women's Size 6.5 - BlueJordan 1 Flight 4 Premium GG 828245-019 Grey Pink Black White Air Women Youth GSSuperga S009Y20_2095_905_METALNAVY sneaker Women's - colour Blue US , NIKE WMNS AIR MAX THEA KJCRD Bronzine/Black-Sail -718646 700- ATHLETIC , Women's New Balance Minimus Teal Running Marathon Minimal Walking Shoes sz 10

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

VANS (Canvas/Suede) Quartz Prison Issue (Canvas/Suede) Rose kelvinsi-25527 Quartz Pink WOMEN'S SIZE 9.5 b3ad967 -

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

VANS (Canvas/Suede) Quartz Prison Issue (Canvas/Suede) Rose kelvinsi-25527 Quartz Pink WOMEN'S SIZE 9.5 b3ad967

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.