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
Pre-owned Melissa Women’s Shoes Size 8 FREE SHIPPING , Pearl Izumi Streak Running Shoes Women Size UEC 40 US 9.5Women's size 8 classic suede Puma shoesHOKA one one Clifton Pink Yellow White Women’s Size 6.5Adidas TerreX 420 Gore-Tex Hiking Trail Shoes Women's 9MMerrell Siren Nitro Forest Womens Hiking Trail Running Shoes Size 7 BrownASICS GT 2000 Black White Electric Blue Running Shoes T2L5N (2A) Women's Sz 8 , SAUCONY FORM2U WOMEN'S RUNNING SHOES (NWB) $85VALUE S30002-6 , Nike Initiator Womens Running Training Walking Shoes Size 7 Gray BlueWomen's New Balance WT510CK3 Grey/Blue/Black All Terrain Sneakers Shoes Size 9DMedium Design Group, INC. Women's Sneakers Slate Leather & Canvas White Size 9 , SPORT SKECHERS BEND SHOES / DK HEATHER GRAY MEMORY FOAM SLIP-ON SNEAKERS WOMENSNew Balance Womens - Blue Running Shoes Size 9 (C,D,W) (368162)Reebok Print Smooth Ultraknit Grey/Mist-White-Coal-Pewter BD4538 Women's SZ 9 , ecco Women's Black Athletic Fashion Sneakers - Size 40Nike Air Zoom Ultra Tennis 845046-100 White Black Hyper Orange Size 7Vince Camuto SOLD OUT RARE Woven Soft Calf Feather Blue Combo Women's SZ 8 , Adidas Womens - Pink Running Shoes Size 10 (421308)Women's New Balance W990KM3 Running Shoe Size 7.5 Made in the USA Breast CancerCONVERSE ALL STAR CHUCK TAYLOR BLACK DIAMOND LOW TOPS 5 , Superga 2750 Black Velvet Sneakers Shoes 41/9.5 Worn Once! With Box!Adidas World Famous Leopard Print Black Pink Womens Size 6.5Womens NIKE ZOOM PEGASUS 31 654486-102 Orange & White Running Shoes SIZE 10 , Keds Triumph 28 Flats 8.5M Splatter Black Tennis Shoe NIB Comfort Insole CUTE!NEW Nike Wmns Roshe One Total Crimson Concord 599432-886 Size 7 , IMAN Womens Runway Chic Luxurious Slip-On Sneaker - Black Size US 10 NWB , Clarks Azella Jazlynn Red Sneakers Shoes Rope Comfort Shoes Womens Size 9 MVintage Tommy Hilfiger Repeat Spellout Platform Sneakers Mens 8 1/2 Womens 10 1/ , Chung Shi Rocker Gray Toning Athletic Training Walking Sneakers Women's US 10

“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.

Skechers Leather Genesis Engrave Loafer Oxford Sneaker Brown TOFFEE Women Sz 6.5 , X-APPEAL HIGH TOP BLACK SNEAKERS SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 1/2 BETSEYWOMEN'S BROWN ARAVON MARY JANES 1.5" HEEL SIZE 8Alfani Kristine Gold Flats Pointed Toe Size 7 1/2 Medium Leather & PU Upper , Dr. Comfort Paradise Mary Janes Shoes Women's Size 10NWomens Low Heel Flatform Slip On Sandals Loafers Ladies Bow Pumps Shoes SizeFree Lance Flats Shoes Women Size 40 US 9 Black Leather UpperNEW Drew womens solid tan Drilex Orthapedic Diabetic mary janes 12 M NWOB , Ladies Free Step Mary Janes - 265018Sperry Top Sider Angelfish Boat Shoes Loafers Pink/ Tan Animal Print Kids Sz 9Forever 21 Blush Pink Black Pointed Pointy Toe Bow Faux Leather Ballet Flats 8COLE HANN Brown soft leather ballet flats size 7Dr. Scholl's Hadley Slip On Shoe - Women's Size 8M Brown , Free People Brady Slip-On Loafers, Women's Size 11, BrownECCO Women's New York V Gore Black Slip On Loafer Shoes Cushioned Size 10 10.5Clarks Unstructured Brown Leather Mary Jane Flats Shoe 33373 Women Size 8 NVionic Apark Surin Ballet Flats, Women's Size 9, Gold , NEW BcbGeneration Women Felicia Flats Gray Leopard Print Calf Hair Fall2017 sz 7 , New Balance 310 Ladies 7.5 B (38 Europe) Black/Purple Trail Running SneakersChic Women Hollow Out Flowers Med Heels Hidden Wedge Creepers Sports Comfy ShoesRyka Womens Running Shoes Size 9 (21605)Skechers women steel toe boots size 10Women's Deep Rhythm -Fitkicks Special Edition In Many Styles Athletic ShoesNEW IN BOX Altra INTUITION 2.0 Womens US 7 D//Running Shoes Light Blue , NWOB Women's Vans Sk8-Hi Slim (j&s) Frost Gray VN0A32R2EE Size us 10New Balance Women's Trail Running Shoe Blue WT710BG2 Size 6.5?Medium (B) , Asics Gel-Zaraca 4 Women's Blue/Pink/Onyx Sneaker 7MFeather Printing Low-top Canvas Shoes Women Campus Casual Fashion Sneakers White , 14951 Wide Fit Black You Skechers shoes Women Slip On Comfort Casual Walk LightETNIES Womens Skateboard Shoes SCOUT W'S BLACK/BROWN ,

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

women's gts brooks kelvinsi-16456 gts 17 size 8 M M US 89bbd06 -

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

women's gts brooks kelvinsi-16456 gts 17 size 8 M M US 89bbd06

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.