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
Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh Women's Astral Aura Hiking Shoes 6.5/7M , Propet Women's Washable Walker Walking Shoe, SR Indigo, 11 W USWOMENS MERRELL SHOES SZ 8.5 MPropet Travel Activ Zip Women's Grey Green Athletic Shoes Sneakers US 10 XX B936 , Skechers Shape-Ups 11800 Womens Size 11 , NWB Bearpaw Women's Gray Gracie High Top Sneakers size 8.5 70617-1 R2 , Brooks Pureflow Running Shoes Youth Size 6 womens size 7.5 Excellent shape , New Bell Horn Madison Womens Diabetic Shoes Tan STKChoose Size , Hotter Day Time Sneaker White Perforated Leather Womens Size 9.5NEW IN THE BOX! ED BY ELLEN DEGENERES KITTY CAT SNEAKERS - SIZE 7.5 , Skechers Synergy Beyond words Women's Sneaker, Black/White/Silver, 7.5 W US , New Balance Women's WX824 Training Shoe, White, 5.5 B US , Caterpillar Womens Array Purple Work Shoes Sneakers 7 Wide (C,D,W) BHFO 8739adidas NEO Women Cloudfoam Super Flex w Running Shoe Pink/Black/White, 10 M USSkechers Sport Women's Conversations Charming Fashion Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Qupid Women's Reba-181C Sneaker, Navy Glitter, Size 6.0 , Propet Women's Washable Walker Walking Shoe, Sr Pewter, 6 W USNEW Skechers Viva Womens Black Multi colored Leather Fashion Sneakers Shoes 10 , adidas Women's Ligra 5 W Tennis ShoeAsics Gel-Venture 6 Women’s Size 7 Black/ Gray/ Green Running Shoes F2-56PACIFIC TRAIL LAWSON Hiking shoes for women, NEW, Size 7.5 , Rockport Women's Tan Suded Leather Tennis Shoe US 9MBzees Cloud Technology Floral Ruby Slip-on Skimmer Shoes 8MNew Women's Skechers Slip-on Size 11Women's Asics GT 2000 v4 T656N Shoes Teal Synthetic Running Sneakers Size 6 MEUC MBT The Anti Shoe Fitness Womens Size 8 ToneUp Health Walking Brown SneakersWomen's Black Sketcher Shape Ups Walking Trainig Athletic Shoes Size 9.5 US , CONVERSE All Star Women's Size 13 M Black CanvasChuck TaylorsConverse CT Gray Studded Hi Top Sneakers Womens Sz 5.5

“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.

VINCE CAMUTO Snakeskin And Silver Leather Ballet FLATS. Sz 6 , Nine West Women's Beachinit Metallic Ballet Flat Gold 9M , Woman's Black Suede Shoes Size 7 B Great Condition From B-store.Aldo Brown Suede Moccasins Loafers Size 5.5Women's New Moccasin Ballet Flats Slip on Loafers Sneaker Plimsoll Boot Shoe , 424 Fifth Womens Gigi Black Leather Loafer Mule Shoes 6 Medium (B,M) BHFO 3152Ballet Flats, Women's Slip-on Shoes, Ballerina 5-10US/35.5-41EU/3-8AUREPORT R2 FLAT WOMEN SAMPLE SHOES SIZE 6 (G268) , Traditional Indian Women Leather Shoes Loafers Handmade Slippers New US 6/8Sperry Top Sider Bahama Olive Leopard Women's Size 6M Eur 36M NEW in boxEarth Origins 8 Wide Burgundy Slip On Shoes Women's , Steve Madden Womens Mollie Leather Closed Toe Ankle, Black Leather, Size 6.0 , CO OP Barneys New York Red Faux Fur Slip On Loafers Size 37 7Corso Como Brown Green Camouflage Print Casual Loafers Size 10 MediumNew women strappy flat buckle soft black chain sandals shoes free shipping b93 , Cole Haan Air Sloane Loafers Metallic Gold Slip On Shoes Size 10.5Bernie Mev Capri Mint Women's Casual Slip On Sandal , Womens Flat Slippers Embroidery Pointy Toe Sandal Mesh Casual Slip On Shoes wiMarc Fisher Women's Abree Loafer Flat, Black, Size 7.0 Mkya , Sperry Sayel Away Casual Boat Shoes - Women's Size 9 M - Washed WhiteWomens Asics GT 2000 Running Training shoes size 8 US T500NKEEN Flint Low Womens 8 ASTM F2413-11 EH Hiking Work Shoe Steel Toe Brown , Skechers Dames Empire Womens Blue Textile Athletic Slip On Running ShoesGraffiti Women's Smart Running Shoes Mesh Breathable Sneaker Sports Trainer , Van's Off The Wall Original Skate Shoes Red Navy Floral Print Women's Size 9.5 , New Vans Black Ball Hi SF Size 6.5 Leila Hurst 70's Floral Canvas Skate ShoeValentine's Day Special-Australian Shepherd Dog Print Running Shoes For Women-Fr , NIKE Men's Shoes Darwin Low Sneakers Shoes BLACK/GREEN 819803-013 US SIZE 11 , Women's Asics 33-FA Running Shoes - Black/Pink/Yellow - NIB! , Tretorn x Andre 3000 Collaboration Nylite Reflective Black Men's Sneaker NEW

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

New Balance Women's FuelCell 5 Running-Shoes, Black/Black, 5 New D FuelCell US 714cd7c - 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

New Balance Women's FuelCell 5 Running-Shoes, Black/Black, 5 New D FuelCell US 714cd7c

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.