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
� Neiman Marcus Pointy Toe Ballet Flats sz 8 M Black Leather w/ Strap & Buckle , Constanca Basto Women's Sz 39 US 9 Leopard Print Calf Fur Ballet Flats Gold Trim , Women's Minnetonka Moccasins Loafers Shoes Size 9M Blue Suede Kiltie Bow Q1 , Enzo Angiolini Women's Soft Leather Close Toe Slip On Flats Loafers Red Sz 6MBlowfish Pylon Scrunched Ballet Flats, Grey Fawn, 7 US , Loeffler Randall Joanna Oxford Shoes Black Textured Velvet Size 8.5BMissoni Ballet Flat Fuschia Black Green Shoes Chevron Zig-Zag Sz 7.5 Never UsedCrocs Iconic Womens Eve Flats Loafers Size 6 Black Slip On Comfort Casual ShoesMinnetonka Moccasin Women's Size 6m Brown Leather Slip On (tu26) , CHACO 6.5 PETALUMA SUEDE MARY JANES $125 , DR. MARTENS Air Cushion 8678 Brown Leather Oxford Casual Shoes Women's US 8Crocs Womens Mary Jane Sandals Shoes Size 6 Brown / Orange , EARTH ORIGINS Womens Brown Leather Ballet Flats Size 6.5M , BOC Born Concept Brown Distressed Leather Clogs Women Shoe Size 6 Slip On Wedge , Sporto Sz 8 Vintage Rain Shoes Blue Brown Maroon 1980s Duck ShoesDr. Scholls Giorgie Ballet Flats, Olive Snake, 9.5 US / 39.5 EUSanuk Mika Nordic Print Knit Sidewalk Surfers Loafers Women's sz 6 , Sam Edelman Penny Loafer 8.5 Shoes Comfort Leather Gold Brown Womens Slip On , Dr Scholls Advanced Comfort Series Gel Insole Shoes Black Womens Size 7 EUC , CLARKS STRUCTURED BLACK LEATHER SLIP ON LOAFER SIZE 9.5M , DONALD PLINER Couture Leopard Shoes Flats Red Leather Calf Hair Women’s 6.5 M , Jutti US 7-10 Bridal Mojari Indian Women Shoes Handmade Leather OxfordsKalso Earth Women's 6.5B Ivy Mary Jane Shoes Leather AlmondStyle & Co Beaa Ankle Strap Ballet Fashion Flats Black 7.5 US Free ShippingPrada Black Suede Pointed Toe Bow Flats Size 37.5Aerosoles Womens Uptempo Wedge Loafer Size 8.5 Black Comfort Slip On Shoes , CLARKS Women's Black / Very Dark Navy Blue 7 Cheyn Madi Slip-on Loafer , Rock & Republic Gatlin Black Women's Ballet Flat Shoes - Size 6.5 NWBPaul Green Brown Suede Flats, Women US 9.5 ,

“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.

G By Guess Otalie Casual Shoes - Women's Size 6.5, Navy , Rocket Dog Daines Sneakers-Women's size 7 M Blue , Skechers Women's Brown Suede Leather Mary Jane Walking Shoes Size 8.5 USSPERRY TOP-SIDER Women's Black Velvet - Brown Leather Flats Size 7.5Munro Black Leather Casual Ballet Flats Comfort Slip On Shoes Women's Size 8CHARLES JOURDAN Women's Black Leather Pointy Toe Oxfords Size 6 MCole Haan Studio Grand Ballet Flat - Women's Size 8.5 B, SilverManolo Blahnik Moccasin MISMATCHED Sz 39/40 Orange Suede , Sanuk Donna Daily Slip-on Loafer - WomensNew Foot Petals Womens Andi Navy Tennis Shoes Size 11Asics GT 2000 V2 Women's Running Shoes Grey, Black, Magenta, Green T3P8N Size 9 , $159 CLARKS ARTISAN Unstructured UN ESMA Bronze Leather Loafers Shoes US 9.5 EUC , Mizuno Women's 9-Spike Finch 5 Softball Cleat,Black/White,5.5 M US , SKECHERS SHAPE-UPS WALKING SNEAKERS SHOES WHITE PURPLE WOMENS SIZE 8 EUCASICS GEL KUSHON 2 RUNNING TRAINING ATHLETIC SNEAKERS WOMENS SHOES 8.5Merrell woman 7.5 hiking shoe leather, waterproof outdoors trailBrooks Addiction 12 Running Shoes Women's Size 11.5 B Navy/Purple , Adidas Originals Samoa Black Blue Leather Shoes Women's Size 7BZ520 2 STAR shoes multicolor paillettes women sneakers , NIKE WOMENS AIR HUARACHE RUN PREMIUM SUEDE MEDIUM GREY/OFF WHITE 833145-002 , CONVERSE Chuck Taylor All Star Black 'Shroud' Translucent Hi Top Size 8 NWOB , Nike Zoom Rival M8 Black White 806555-017 Track Field Spikes Mens Size 11.5 , Merrell Chameleon Arc Wind GTX Womens Gore Tex Hiking Trail Shoes Size 10 Beige , Nike Lunarglide 8 OC - Women's Size 8.5 - 844633 999 - Neon Pink, Yellow & Blac , Skechers Women's Go Flex Train Ankle-High Tennis ShoeAltra Women's Olymous 1.5 Gray/Mint Trail-Running Shoes 5.5MWomens Fashion Sneakers Floral Printed Round Toe Sports Board Shoes Flower DecorChaco Womens Kanarra Blue Casual Athletic Running Performance Shoes Size 7VINTAGE NIKE AIR TRAINER SC LOW WHITE DEL SOL WOMEN'S WMNS SZ 6-11 305361-111 LASICS Women's GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoessz 11 M

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

Rockport ProWalker T-Strap 26498 Comfort Loafers ProWalker Women T-Strap Size 6 1d54645 - 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

Rockport ProWalker T-Strap 26498 Comfort Loafers ProWalker Women T-Strap Size 6 1d54645

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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

Flats

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.