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
N.Y.L.A. ACER BALLET FLAT WOMEN'S BLACK PATENT US SIZE 8M NEW/ DISPLAYStyle & Co. Womens Vinniee Leather Closed Toe Ballet Flats, Black, Size 6.5 VIet , Womens 9.5 B M Aravon by New Balance Tonya Mary Jane Shoes Brown Leather ComfortTom's Earthwise Classic Pink Slip On Shoes Women's Size 6.5Steve Madden Women's Lancer Fashion Sneaker, Black, Size 10.0 kvA8 , Escarpins Ballerines MITICA Cuir Multicolore T 38 TBENaturalizer Womens Kiara Leather Closed Toe Slide Flats, Black, Size 9.5 , Candela New Size 7 Paisley Loafers Shoes Blue/Gray Flat Heels Fabric MSRP $230REVERE CHARLOTTE TAUPE WOMEN'S FLAT'S SHOES SZ 8.0 M NEW DISPLAY D3110Auth STUART WEITZMAN Dandy Ivory Leather Perf Clear Wingtip Oxford Shoes Sz 6.5 , Womens 7 B M Amalfi Italy Metallic Pewter Woven Leather Ballet Flat Shoes Loafer , Indigo Rd. Women's Genetic Pointed Toe Flat , Alfani Womens Ameliaa Closed Toe Loafers, Black, Size 6.5 rDXu , Sperry Pink Plaid sz 7M Top Sider Angelfish Tan Leather Boat Shoes Loafer Women , Women's Clarks Unstructured Casual Walking Shoes-Brown Nubuck Leather-10 MAlfani Womens Aleaa Almond Toe Ballet Flats, Apricot, Size 6.5 cqvlWomens 8.5 M Sesto Meucci black leather shoes loafer stretch slip-on wedge heelsNICE Women's Aravon New Balance Slip-on Strap Leather Walking Shoes-8 DWear Ever Davie Wedge Heels Brown Size 8.5 M Gathered Closed Round Toe ShoesSANUK WOMENS PALMTASTIC SIDEWALK SURFER BERRY MULTI 7 8 9 , Anne Klein Womens romy Closed Toe Loafers Brown Size 8.0 DFKx , Skechers Womens Bobs B-Loved Round Toe Loafers Black Size 8.5 hmPb , Womens 9.5 Born Molly ballet flat shoes bow black gray houndstooth plaid loafers , New Skechers BOBS Plush Paw-Fection Goldie Alpargata Royal Flats Shoes Size 6 M , Womens 9 M clarks indigo embroidered ballet flats shoes metallic bronze leatherDURANGO BROWN WESTERN SHOE BOOTIE SZ 8.5M SUUUPER EXXXXXC $89.99 RT. !!!!!!!!!! , CIRCUS SAM EDELMAN FRIES B4 GUYS womens blue size 9 SLIP ON Espadrilles flats , Wanderlust Weather or Not Women Size 8 WW Black Patent Loafer Bow Shoes , Cute Adorable Stylish Black Ellie Shoes Criss Cross Peep Toe Flats Adult Women

“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.

J Crew Silver Metallic Emery Pointed Toe Flats Size 8.5 , Chinese Laundry Neon Yellow Slip On Canvas Carbon Sneaker Shoe 6.5 NEW C425J Crew Snakeskin Print Ballet Flat 7.5Womens MERRELL Olive Green Textile Casual Slip-on Mule Heel Comfort Shoe 6M -EUCVera Wang Lavender Label 'Lillian' Ballet Flats, Burgundy, US 6.0COLE HAAN Country 8.5AA Brown Leather Woven Moccasin Loafers Womens ShoesWomens Bare Traps Suzie Black Flats 8 M , Tory Burch Leather Ballets Women's Shoes Size 5Dr. Scholl's Womens Joliet Closed Toe Slide FlatsArnaldo Toscani 1098701_BALZA ballerina shoes Women's - colour White USBass "Sonic" Shoes Women's Sneakers Walking Athletic White Leather Sz 7 M , NIKE Sneakers Initiator Women Running Shoes Black Pink White Athletic Sz 8.5 , Womens IVANKA TRUMP gold sparkly fabric ballet flats sz. 5 $110 , Womens 6.5 7 37 Dansko Mary Jane Chrissy Purple Suede Leather Shoes Clogs WedgesAdidas Womens Bb5323 Black/White/Black Running Shoes Size 8.5 (8741)New Balance 450 Beige Athletic Running Walking Sneakers Shoes Size 10BEUC ASICS Gel-Venture 4 Women's US 8 Running Shoes T383N Charcoal Black Magenta , Skechers Womens Pulse Navy/Aqua Walking Shoes Size 9.5 (366156)Womens CONVERSE Chuck Taylor CTAS HI 560301C BUFF/WHITE/BLACK Size 8Women's Munro American Shoes Size 8.5 For Sale FlatsNew Balance WCRUZWT Womens Fresh Foam Cruz Running Shoe- Choose SZ/Color. , Asics Gel-Fit Sana 2 Blue Bell Women's Running Shoes 9 40.5 New , NEW BALANCE Womens WL520MR Classics Shoe US 7.5 BLACK/GOLD NEW , Biewer Terrier Running Shoe For Women- Free ShippingNew Balance Womens Black/Black Running Shoes Size 9.5 (C,D,W) (25314) , Superga 2750 Velvetw Low Top Sneakers 254, Black, 7.5 US / 38 EU , Nike Womens Flex 2016 Running Shoe Bright Mango SIZE 6 , Rockport Women's XCS Urban Gear Mudguard Walking Shoe-Brown Leather-5 , New Balance Womens - Blue Running Shoes Size 8 (358342) , Asics GT-2000 4 Women's Silver/Turquoise/Lime Punch Running Shoe 9M ,

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

Womens sz 7 M Jambu Spin kelvinsi-16583 Barefoot M Black Shoes Vegan Ballet Flats Shoes Comfort Slip-On aa3f3d1 -

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

Womens sz 7 M Jambu Spin kelvinsi-16583 Barefoot M Black Shoes Vegan Ballet Flats Shoes Comfort Slip-On aa3f3d1

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.