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
Gold and Cream Sperry Top Sider size 6 1/2MJessica Simpson Nude Flats Size 6 Ladies , Bandolino Loafers Sz 5 Chocolate Brown Faux Patent Leather Slip On 1.5" Heel , Groove Women's Jackie Ballet Flat, Black, 6.5 M US , Unisa Brown Kitten Heeled Slides - 7.5 European 38 EUCImilia Womens Floral Print Calvin Klein Shoes 8.5 , ECCO Size 7 to 7.5 Black Mary Janes FlatsJosef Seibel 9.5 Brown Slip On Loafers Women'sArturo Chiang Women's Taty Low Heel Pump Shoe Copper 9M NewDansko 41 10.5 11 Burgundy Red Leather Clog Slip on Career Comfort Excellent WOW , NEW ECCO Strap Comfort Loafers Brown Leather Walking Shoes Cute! 38 7-7.5Salvatore Ferragamo Brown Embossed Leather & Light Black Suede Flats 7 1/2 ItalyCole Haan Tali Beige Leather Women’s Ballet Flats MSRP $178 US 10.5 AA B695Stuart Weitzman Dreamy Ivory Linen Fashion Sneakers Size 6.5M D2172/Ecco Brown Leather Suede Loafer Flats 265808 86 534 Size 39 Men’s? Women’s?NIB J. Crew Embellished Slingback Flat FADED BLOSSOM Sz 7BELLE SIGERSON MORRISON Ladies Size 6.5DANSKO Paisley Tapestry Bohemian Clogs Professional Vegan Shoes Womens Size 38 , Kenneth Cole New York Velvet Mules Green Women's Various Sizes NEW Authentic , DONALD J PLINER Women's Merlot Crinkle Patent Pearl Loafer Size 6 New in boxMerrell Suede Jungle Moc Slip On Shoes Womens size 7.5 Gunsmoke J60788 NEWVintage Salvatore Ferragamo Boutique Laura Black Leather Classic Pumps 6 1/2 AA , Women's Aerosoles Flats - Betunia - Black Floral - New in Box! Size 11NIB Soludos Women's Leather Platform Espadrille Flats Slippers Papyrus Size 7.5 , Hush Puppies Women's Heaven Taupe Nappa Leather Loafers Size 9.5M US / 41N EURO , CLARKS ARIA MARYJANE WOMEN'S US SIZE 7 W COMFORTABLE , Marc By Marc Jacobs Caroline Blue Womens Shoes Size 6 M Flats MSRP $295Ladies Tennis Fast Run Navy Dr. Scholls Size 9 , Stuart Weitzman Arkyflat Black Suede Flats Sise 9.5M E189

“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.

New Donald J Pliner Black slipons 7.5 made in Italy never wornNine West Womens Wedges Size 9.5M Open Toe Canvas Buckle Brown -3755 , Natural Soul Naturalizer Zora Navy Blue Women's Fashion Sneaker. 7.5 M US NIB ..Softspots Womens Loafer Flats Shoes Sz 12 M Open Weave Breathable Browm Leather , Alegria by PG lite Blue Peddle Leather Loafers, Size 37Traditional Ethnic Slippers Indian Women Shoes Leather Flip-Flops Flat US 6-9 , Bellucci Black VEGAN Faux Suede Hangisi style flat pointed bow shoes 7 40 9.5SPERRY TOP-SIDER Women A/O 2-Eye Embossed Navy Leather Boat Shoes STS94096 7.5 MGraffiti Women Ladies Running Shoes Mesh Breathable Sneakers Ultralight ShoesVery Nice K Swiss ST329 CMF Woman’s Size 7 white & Turquoise , Discounts 2017 Fashion Genuine Leather Casual Loafers Shoes Women Sandals Summer , Elaine Turner Women's Multi Color Leather Flats 6.5Womens Nike Max Air Black & Pink Running Shoes Size 7.5Asics Gel-Flux High Performance Running Shoes Size 8.5 Women's #T3D9N EUC R85 , Elie Tahari Womens viceroy Low Top Slip On Fashion, shark/denim/slvr, Size 5.0 , Saucony Kilkenny XC5 Women's Cross Country Spikes , WOMEN PUMA FIERCE ROPE VR WN''S 190136-01 OLIVE NIGHT/WHISPER , North Face Womens Hiking Boots Sz 7Matrix sneakers ," Lady gone rogue fashion!" , New Balance Women's Wrt580 Ankle-High Running Shoe , Custom Comfortable Women Boots Dragon Ball Z Martin Boots For GirlCarlos by Carlos Santana Women's Alegra Sneaker, White, 8 Medium US , NEW Womens Size 7 NEW BALANCE 647 TB Grey Blue Cross Training Sneakers Shoes , New Balance WW813HGY Walking Shoes - Women's Size 11 2A, Light Grey , ASICS GEL BLUR 33 Running Shoes Womens Size 11 M Hot Pink Black White , Adidas Womens - White Soccer Cleats Size 7 (363654)JSport by Jambu Women's Hibiscus Walking Hiking Shoe Bungee Black/Sweet Pea 10 M , New Balance Womens Ww496wb3 White/Blue Walking Shoes Size 8 (326485)Superga New 2750 FGLU Black Womens Shoes Size 7.5 M Fashion Sneakers MSRP $99Mizuno? ~ SAYONARA Run Shoes ~ Women Sz 9.5 ~ VERY GOOD

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

Trotters Sz Navy Trotters Blue Womens Loafers Blue Sz 5.5 e2bb08f -

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

Trotters Sz Navy Trotters Blue Womens Loafers Blue Sz 5.5 e2bb08f

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Associate degree in computer networking from Ivy Tech, 1995 graduate of Columbus North High School


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.