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
Tommy Hilfiger Frank Brown Womens Shoes Size 8 M Flats MSRP $59 , Wanted Women's Comfort Leather Strike Sneakers Shoes - SZ 6B 602-872 Adema Leather Slip-On Ballet Flats. Vince Camuto SIZE 8.5M , NWOB Candies Womens Flats Shoes Bolero Gold Glitter Metallic Size:9M RP: $39.99 , Etienne Aigner Mocassin Womens Brown Size 7 , Tommy Hilfiger Neoline Pointed Toe Flats 440, Black Multi, 10 US , LADIES SZ 8 M L.L. BEAN DARK MAUVE NUBUCK LEATHER FLAT LOAFERS EUCMerrell Primo Chill Slide Chocolate Brown Suede Sheepskin Fur Clogs W 8.5 , Michael Angelo Womens Slip On White Ballet Flats size 9MBorn Women's 9 Black Leather Wedge Heel Slider Clogs #W3332SAS shoes womens 6M Tripad Comfort loafers brownish burgundy leather , Keen Women Brown Leather Mary Janes Size 7.5M/38 , Sugar Coconut Blue Purple Black Sparkly Bling Glitter Flat Shoes Size 9.5 , WOMENS BLACK LEATHER WEDGE STONEFLY CLOGS MULES CAREER COMFORT SHOES SIZE 38 , 8.5M Jones new York Matte Silver leather Karen EUC Flats elastic strap , NEW DR SCHOLLS Slip On Silver Ballerina Dress Shoes Size 7 1/2 Memory Flats 7.5White Mountain Sz 6 M Black Snake Ballet Flats Gold Bow At Toe Casual CareerCOLLEGE TOWN red leather wedge loafers 9 M new.Brazilian made , BOC Born Womens Brown Tooled Leather Slip On Clogs Shoes Sz 8.5 , Abercrombie Kids Women's Girls Classic Silver Glitter Slip On Ballet Flat ShoesGap Loafer Snake Print Shoes Women's Size 7 FREE SHIPPING , COLE HAAN STUDIO BROWN PATENT LEATHER 8 M BRAZIL D11181 LOAFER MOCS WTW EUC , Naturalizer N5 Comfort Women's Lancing Black Loafer Flats Slip-on Soft Sz 10MMerrell Primo Chill Slide Chocolate Brown Suede Clogs Faux-Fur Womens Size 8 , EASY SPIRIT Womens Size 8 1/2 Black Slip-on Round Toe Fabric Quilt Loafer , Cole Haan Tali Lock Moc II Beige Patent Leather DRIVING Loafers Shoes SZ 802-658 Sesto Meucci Women's Shoes Nonnie Stained Calf Woven leather SIZE 9M , ECCO Ladies Beige Soft Suede Flat Mary Janes Size 38/2USWomens 7 M Clarks Soft Cushion Everlay Bai Blue Leather Mary Jane Shoes Comfort

“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.

Johnnie B Women's Metallic Silver Synthetic Leather Slip On Ballet FlatsSalvatore Ferragamo Women's Shoes - Sz. 7 AAA Made in ItalyClarks Cheyn Marie Buckle Slip-on Loafers 020, Black, 7.5 W USSperry Top-Sider Womens 8 M Leather Flats Boat Shoes cream/tan , A2 By Aereosoles Unique Comfort System Womes Shoes Size 8 1/2 W/ORIG BOXWomen's Sanita Dark Brown Leather Mules Clogs Shoes US 5.5 - 6Alegria Paloma PG Lite Black Tortoise Print Mary Jane Shoes Euro 37 US 7-7.5M , Remonte Womens Shoes Mary Jane Flats Floral Cutout Blue Brown Size 9.5 , Marc By Marc Jacobs Gray Suede Buckle Detail Round Toe Flats Shoes Size 38 8127 Frye Melanie Faw Nubuck Leather Slip On Flats Women Size 8 BSAS Tripad Comfort Black Slip on Snake Skin Print Leather Loafers Women US 9 NTory Burch Brown Quilted Leather Gold Medallions Reva Flats Size 8.5 So Chic!Hush Puppies Women's Tirana Loafer H54862,8.5EW,Extra Wide,New w/o Box-BrownSaucony Omni 8 Running Shoes, Wht/Navy/Blue/Slvr, Womens US Size 9 , Birkenstock Womens Size 8.5 Moccasin Shoes Tan Suede Pasadena Made In GermanyCIRCUS BY SAM EDELMAN *HILLARY* FLATS BLACK SIZE 8 M , Nike Air Max 881103-400 Athletic Shoes Women Size 5.5Womens Nike SW Serena Williams Air Max 10 , Skechers Flex Elite 11644 Sneakers - Women's Size 8, WhiteNike 6.0 High Top Athletic Shoes Womens Silver/blue/pink Size 7 , Nike Basketball Shoes Black and Pink High Tops - Size 5.5 Girls GUC , New! Women's Skechers 14227 Go Step - Vast Athletic Sneakers - Char/Black J19Jambu Women's Jackie-Too Vegan Slip On SneakerNike womens Free 7.0 V2 size 5.5 new 396044 044 shoes sneakes , Cole Haan OS Grand Wingtip WP Oxford Women’s 6.5 grey zero grand lunar , Skechers Street Women's Hi-Lite-Suede Satin Sneaker , US 7 M Dr Scholls Graham Memory Foam Cool Fit Women Black Suede & Fabric ShoesAdidas Up Stan Smith Womens 6.5 Black Wedge Ankle BootsVintage Skechers Shape Ups White Sneakers Womens 8.5 Vintage Athletic Shoes 90sNew Balance Womens Wl515hnb M.FoliageGreen/Flame Fashion Shoes Size 8.5 (413938)

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 Teva Kiru Lined Fur Lined Nubuck Kiru Leather 25370 Slip On Mules Size 10 Green ef44d89 - 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

Women's Teva Kiru Lined Fur Lined Nubuck Kiru Leather 25370 Slip On Mules Size 10 Green ef44d89

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.