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
K-Swiss Shoes New Mens Aero Trainer T Sneaker Black White MeshMEPHISTO Air Jet Women’s Brown Leather Comfort Walking Shoes Loafers Size 7.5 , NEW JEFFREY CAMPBELL APFEL BLACK LEATHER LINED FAUX FUR MULES SIZE 6 $145AHNU TULLIA II WOMEN SHOES LEATHER BLACK US 6 / //JP 23DISPLAY CHACO ZX2 CLASSIC WOMENS 9 SANDAL WINK BLUE SHOE HIKE FREE SHIP , Shoes TODS Suede Leather Moccasin Loafers women Size (US 5.5)Klogs Women's Clogs Display Model Shoes Natalie Paisley Too 8 M , Steve Madden SICILY Slide Flats Sandals Black Women Size 8 , Klogs AUDREY Women's Clogs TAUPE Suede Tapestry Display Model Shoes 8 WKlogs Natalie Women's Clogs Display Model Shoes Bronze Multi 8 M , Taryn Rose Womens Kristine Powder Metallic Driving Style Loafer , Sperry Womens Firefish Core Slip On Moc Boat Shoes, Linen/Oat, US 8 , Black White Day of the Dead Bones Dia de los Muertos Skeleton Halloween Ballets , BELLA TOSCANA SHOES DARK GREEN LEATHER FLATS LOAFERS!S 6/36 M!MADE IN ITALY , Paul Mayer Women's Best Quilted Leather Cap Toe Ballet Flats Size 7 Black/BeigeStuart Weitzman Raven Ballet Flats in Blush 9.5 , FitFlop Sporty Ballerina Black Leather Women's Loafers Flats Comfort Shoes 6 M , Melissa Women's 'Wonderful II AD Jelly Slides SandalSwims Women's Penny Loafer - Lime White - Brand New Size US 6, 7, 8 $220 RRPMONDERER Paris Mocassins à Estampilles Femme Cuir Noir T 39.5 TBEWomens Mephisto Walking Shoes Gray Suede Leather 10.5 M , Pino Carina Beige Hand Made in Italy Leather Womens Shoes Euro 36.5 US Size 6Klogs Sandy Womens Clog Shoes Display Model Driftwood 11 MLadies Clarks Casual Shoes, Tri StepClarks Artisan Dark Purple Suede Daelyn Monarch Slip on Comfort Loafer NEW , Manila 7508A Women Black Leather Loafer_New ArrivalBass Weejuns Womens Leather Kilte Fringe Tassle Slip On Loafers Burgundy Sz 6 B , Gentle Souls Womens Iso Jane Ankle Strap Square Toe Flat Shoes, Pewter, US 10 , VIA SPIGA GREEN SUEDE LEATHER BALLET FLATS WOMEN size US 6M HOT RARE GREAT

“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.

02-646 LIFE STRIDE TRANSCEND NVY WOMEN'S SHOES SIZE 8MNew women's shoes ballet flat ballerina synthetic casual summer solid orange bowPierre Dumas Womens Shoes NEW $40 Moni-29 Pewter Ballet Flat 7.5 Mann taylor loft size 6 Navy D'Orsay Ankle Strap Flats , Ahnu Jackie Prog Clog Slip-On Womens Size 8Sperry Top Sider Womens 9.5 J Crew Paint Splatter Pink Trim Boat Shoes 9125501 , New Aerin Belnord Rount Toe Leather Flats Rosewood Sz 6.5 , Sperry Seaside Perf Sneaker, Women's Size 9.5 M, Grey , Vionic Cloud 354 Harper Snake Print Leather Mary Jane Shoes ~ SZ 7 / EU38 , TALBOTS NAVY BLUE LEATHER LOW HEEL SHOES WITH BOW ON THE TOE WOMENS SIZE 6.5 M , Donald J Pilner Ezara Driver Womens Black Loafer 8.5Mballerine FUGITIVE chaussure plate sport babies sandale moc CUIR 40 NEUFTommy Hilfiger Womens Hansun Driving Style Loafer- Pick SZ/Color.Nine West Marie Cutout Ballet Flats 768, Black/Pewter, 7.5 US , Vaneli Redda Black Pesca 153541 Women's SZ 10Womens Gothic Hollow Brogue Wing Tip Ankle Buckle Creepers Shoes Pumps Leather , Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit Print Running Shoes Black Gray Green Womens Size 9Women's SKECHERS GOGA MAX Go Walk Size 9 Slip On Comfort Shoes , Puma Womens Fierce Core White Fashion Sneakers Shoes 5.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 6709Women's Flat UNIONBAY Solo Stone Suede On Sale Flats , NIKE WMNS AIR MAX 1 PRM 454746-403 OBSIDIAN PALE GREY DS SIZE: 7.5 , NWT WOMENS NIKE AIR MAX MOTION LW SE GREEN ABYSS RUNNING SHOES SZ 6-10Custom Comfortable And Fashion Women Boots Dragon Ball Z Martin Boots For Girl , Converse All Star Ox Women's Egret/Egret/White 558001CVANS Sk8 Hi Slim (Light Gum) True White WOMEN'S Skate Shoes 7 , EUC Women's Nike Shox One of A Kind Size 7.5Jack Rogers Women's Mckay Sneaker , Size 10 wide New Balance WW813WT Women's Comfortable Walking Shoe White NEW , Jeffrey Campbel Beige Wedge Snekers Women's Shoes Size 8 M NEWWmns Nike Roshe Two Flyknit V2 2 Bright Crimson Women Running Shoes 917688-600

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

Prada Black High Gloss Leather Prada Silver Silver Toned Logo Metal kelvinsi-26160 Strap Loafer Shoe 6.5 9566cca - 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

Prada Black High Gloss Leather Prada Silver Silver Toned Logo Metal kelvinsi-26160 Strap Loafer Shoe 6.5 9566cca

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.