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
Womens Breathing Hole Canvas Shoes High Top Hidden Heel Casual Fashion SneakersWomens PUMA STREET JUMP Mid Dead Mouse Trainers 353536 01 , Puma Ikaz Hi Satin Womens Hi Top Trainers Black Gold Leather 356325 01 D113Reebok Women BS6133 Quick Champ running Shoes grey white black Sneakers , New! Womens Skechers 11931 D'Lites Fresh Start Walking Shoe (Wide Width) Wht I68 , New Balance WX409 Core Training Shoe, Women's Size 7 B, White , Breathable Mesh Sneakers Womens Open Toe Wedges Flats Oxfords Back Strap Sandals , Women's Brooks Ravenna 7 Running Walking Shoes 1202081B127 Size 8 Pink Blue , Keds Champion Slub Stripe Women's Fashion Sneakers Stripe CreamNew Girl Mesh breathable Womens High Top Wedge Heel Snakers Trainer Sport ShoesNike Zoom HyperQuickness Women Sneaker 7 Pink Breast Cancer High top BasketballPUMA WOMEN'S MUNSTER ATHLETIC FASHION SNEAKERS 354459 03 CABARET SIZE 8, 8.5 NEW , New!! Women's Skechers Full Grain Leather VASO-CORDON Sneaker SN48867 Black Z8 , Brooks? ~ ASR ALL SEASON RUNNING Shoes ~ Trail ~ Women Sz 8 ~ VERY GOOD , NIKE FREE 5.0 TR FIT 4 Running Cross Training US 8.5 Black/White 629496-001 A4 , SKECHERS WOMENS FLEX APPEAL 2.0 -CHIME IN /BKW Size 7.5KEDS ORIGINALS 2 TONE BEIGE LEATHER HIGH TOP SNEAKERS SHOE SIZE 8 NWOBAscot Aurora Ultralite Running Sport Fitness Memory Foam Womens Mesh Trainers , NEW VANS CHAUFFETTE STRIPES SHOE KHAKI/WHITE WOMEN'S 5.5Skechers Bikers Roamer CHOCOLATE Brown Leather Memory Foam Slip On Shoes Sz 7.5VERY Rare!!!! CONVERSE Chuck Taylor ALL STAR Sz. 11 Brown LEATHER Plaid PINK oNWT Converse All Stars Silver Glitter Low Top Unisex 12 Women 10 Men Fast Ship! , Skechers Synergy Elite Status Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 8 W, White/Blue , **Skechers Go Walk 3 Slip Ons-Women's size 8.5 ChairNIKE ZOOM PEGASUS 32 Women's Pink/Black/Green Running Shoes Size 11.5 , BROOKS TRANCE 10 Running Shoes Womens Size 8 , MBT Physiological Footwear Sneaker Chapa W White Swiss Engineered US 8 , Rhinestones Women Pumps Platfrom Leather Sneaker Hot Sport Round Toe Shoes DressNew Balance 1865v1 Walking Shoes, Women's - Size 11 D, Grey (Ripped) ,

“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.

Pierre Dumas Womens Shoes $42 Gloria Navy Blue Woven Ballet Flat 9 MBlack Suede SPERRY TOP SIDER Driving Style Moccasins Loafers 9 M , Women's Mephisto Air-Relax Trampolins Sz 7 Brown Leather Casual Shoes Sneaker L9 , Isaac Mizrahi LIVE! 8 Green Suede Leather Mocassin Tassle Slip On Casual LoafersTsubo Terracotta Orange Suede Honnor Flats Size 6, 6.5 $125 , Women's Bernie Mev Black Woven Sneaker Shoes Size 37 MDansko Black Leather Clogs Loafers Womens Shoes US 5.5 - 6 Med Heels Y469 , Clarks Women's Black Faux Patent Leather Croc Slip On Clogs Size 7.5NNEW Vince Corbin Satin Slip-On Sneaker Elastic Vamp Purple Shoes (size 7) $195Native Women's Monaco low Sneakers Navy Blue Size 8 New ShoesWomen Blingbling Wedding Bridal SHoes Square Toe Oxford Buckle Chic Pumps SHoesAsics Gel Nimbus 12 White Pink Running Walking Casual Shoes Women's Size 7 , TI:ME Slippers Low Top Black Leather Sneaker Slippers - Men's 13 - NIBSkechers Synergy Sunday Stroll 11796 BLACK Mary Jane Peep Toe Loafers WOMENS 8.5womens nike shox size 8 Turbo+Brooks Launch 3 Running Shoes Black, Mint Women's US Size 6.5 B (K2,6) , Reebok Training...Leather and Mesh...Memory Tech...Fuchsia/White...Size 6.5 , Women's Shoes Pumps Flats Slip On Preppy Casual Blingling Walk Cute Size Ths01 , Women's Brand new Adidas Running Shoes Modern Techniques Athletic ShoesUnder Armour Women's Micro G Speed Swift 1266243-914 Brand New In BoxNike Huarache Drift Casual Sneaker 943344 200 GS Size 5Y/6.5 Women Olive GreenNew Nike Womens Mayfly Woven Shoes 833802-005 sz 8 Dark Stucco , Adidas Shoes Size 7 Womens Crazyflight X Volleyball Navy Blue Gold Metal Low Top , NEW NIKE WOMEN'S AIR FORCE 1 HI PRM ATHLETIC SHOE DESERT/SLIVER 654440 002 , Superga 2750 Embroiderycottonw White Womens Canvas Embroidered Low-top Trainers , Skechers Work Women's Kincaid II Slip On Slip Resi - Choose SZ/color , Skechers Sport Revv Air Black and Pink Sneakers Shoes US10 EU40 SN12265Saucony Womens Grid Tornado 6 Running Shoes Navy Blue Turquoise Size 6.5Onesole Women's University of Georgia Red/Multi , K Swiss womens 7.5 Gray Silver White Orange Mesh Athletic Running Tennis 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

NIKE KAISHI PRINT WOMEN'S ATHLETIC RUNNING maryjersey-803 SHOES SIZE WOMEN'S 8 GRAY GRAY PINK 705374 016 6ba682a - 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

NIKE KAISHI PRINT WOMEN'S ATHLETIC RUNNING maryjersey-803 SHOES SIZE WOMEN'S 8 GRAY GRAY PINK 705374 016 6ba682a

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.