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
FERGIE Shoes Groove-Brown Pny Shoes Flats Leather Size 8.5 8.5M NEWP.W.MINOR Sasha Black Orthopedic Mary Janes Shoes Size 9.5 W , BCBG MAX AZRIA Stella Black Brown Driving Moc Ballet Flats Mud Guard Size 6 1/2 , Style & Co Womens New Quaint Pewter Flats Shoes 6 Medium , Cole Haan Womens Klarissasam Closed Toe Boat Shoes, Gold, Size 6.0 , Crocs Women's Lina Embellished Dorsay Ballet Flat, Navy /Silver , SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Womens Bobbiefla Open Toe, Blue Suede, Size 7.0 KbNi☼ELEN☼ Ballerines SUREDELLE - Ref: GE23 NOIRNew Jessica Simpson Leopard Beez Loafer Mule Chain Size 5.5 Velvet Casual $89Patricia Green Waverly BURGUNDY Suede Flats Women's SZ 8.0 M PRE OWNED ONCE 7971 , Cole Haan Womens Etheldasam Closed Toe Boat Shoes, Orange, Size 6.0Cole Haan Womens Siennasam Closed Toe Loafers, Pink, Size 6.0BX706 SARA LOPEZ shoes black leather patent leather women moccasins , Naturalizer Women's Black Leather Flynn Slip-on Loafer Size 5M , Klogs Ollie Womens Leather Clogs Display Model Brown 8 MSperry Top-Sider Angelfish Grey Leather Open Mesh Women's Boat Shoes Size 6Bles p'tites bombes ballerines femme 1- ELLA fuchsia P37 neuve été 2016 , Galo Black Leather Bow Accent Ballet Flat Shoe Size 37 7VANELi Womens Fabra Closed Toe Ballet Flats, Navy, Size 8.0DEMONIA SPR02/BPPT Baby Pink Heart O-Ring Goth Lolita Platform Mary Janes Shoes , Lucky Brand Women's Black Brenley Round Toe Flats Size 9.5M☼ELEN☼ Ballerines SUREDELLE - Ref: GE5 NOIRSalvatore Ferragamo sport W brown suede shoes loafers Sz 8.5M Stones on BuckleManolo Blahnik Dark Blue Bow Accent Slide On Closure Women's Flats Size 5.5Cole Haan Womens Tannersam Closed Toe Loafers, Black, Size 6.0LADIES SHOES/FOOTWEAR -Cherry Casino pewter multi woven slip on shoe size 7 , SPERRY TOP-SIDER® FOR J.CREW AUTH ORIGINAL 2-EYE BOAT SHOES CHAMBRAY ANH SIZE 6MAravon Women's Tonya Mary Jane Red Brown New in the BoxBernie Mev. Catniss Black + Gunmetal Women's Casual Slip On Flats

“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.

Seychelles "Skein" Distressed Leather Pewter & Brown Slip On Loafer Flats Sz 8.5 , SUEDED PLATFORM SLIP-ON LOAFERS WOMEN LIDDY-1-15 ELEGANT BLUSHBALLERINES ANDREA MADE IN MEXICO ROUGE HT GAMME T37 ACH IMM FP REDUITS MOND , COLE HAAN SERIES Womens Blue Slip-On Flats Shoes Size 8Adam Tucker Me Too Womens Cason Gray Espadrilles 7.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 0846Kickers Size 8.5 Black Slip On Leather Loafers Block Heels Women's , Alegria Women's Thong Sandals Shoes Size 38~Comfy~Born Concept Women's Shoes US Size 9 Clogs Slip On Round Toe Mule Brown LeatherJ Crew Red Patent Leather Ballet Flats - Womens 9 (Made in Italy)NEW Cole Haan 2 Zerogrand Stitchlite Ballet Flat WOMENS 8.5 B Black Knit $130.Ivanka Trump New Tramory Beige Womens Shoes Size 9 M Flats MSRP $120 , Vionic Women's Larrun Loafer Bronze Snake 10Women’s SIZE 9.5 NIKE FLEX EXPERIENCE RN 3 Running ShoesReebok Blue Suede Shoes Sneakers Women's 9.5 Classic Tennis Walking Retro ShoesSperry Top-Sider Seaside Perforated Shoes - Women's Size 9M, Navy Blue , New Balance Women's 210 Shoes Red with PinkSketchers Womens Sneakers Size 8.5 Great Shape Ups Fitness green/White SN 12320 , ADIDAS WOMEN'S CF LITE RACER SO W CASUAL RUNNING SHOES (7.5) BLACK/WHITE , Avia Women's Avi-Union Strap Service Shoe Slip/Oil Resistant #A1442WBV Medium , Vintage Tommy Hilfiger Womens Slip On Sneakers sz 8 White Big Flag 90s Hip HopEtnies Callicut Womens Shoes White Pink Size US W9 / /Vans Off the Wall Surf Rata Cockatoo Mint Green Scuba Blue Womens Shoes 7.5 , New Vans Womens Era Pt Brown Fashion Shoes Size 5 , Women's Born Teena Whisky 7 Moderate Price Flats , Nike Benassi Duo Ultra Slide Women's Crimson Tint/White/Black 19717802 , ADIDAS Originals Tubular Defiant White Sneakers WOMENS SZ 5.5 $110WOMENS NEW BALANCE WL574ILC CLASSICS ORANGE SNEAKER SHOES SIZE 7 US NEW , NIB Women's ASICS Gel-Venture? 6 Trail Running Shoes B & D Wide Bk Lime 412 510 , WMNS NIKE FREE TR CONNECT 2 Hyper Cobalt/ Deep Royal Blue -638680 400- RUNNING , SKECHERS WOMENS GOWALK GLITZ SHOES GOGA MAT size10 GRAY

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

Gabor Loafers Leather 6 Women Brown Punched Detail Brown Leather Flats Slip Shoes Slip On cc8d97f -

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

Gabor Loafers Leather 6 Women Brown Punched Detail Brown Leather Flats Slip Shoes Slip On cc8d97f

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.