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
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Top Women's Digital Floral SneakersMerrell Jungle Moc Taupe Suede Slip On Casual Performance Loafer Size 8 , Skechers Performance Women's Go Flex-Ability Athletic Sneakers Shoes CharcoalNew Balance 'WT710GB2' (Gray/Blue) Women's Running Shoes Size: 7BNike Shox Turbo Oz Women's Running Sneakers ??310154-441 Midnight/Slvr Sz 8.5UNDER ARMOR GIRLS RUNNING SNEAKER SHOES GGS SPINE VENOM sz 6Y NEW $79.99New Balance 711 Women's Running Shoes Green Polka Dot Black 7 Medium , Unicorn Dab Canvas High Top Shoes Sneakers Style 1 sizes 5-12 womensKnapp -Women's Allowance Work Shoe-MEMORY FOAM- K524- SIZE 7W-NEWNike Air Zoom Structure 21 Running Sneakers- Training White/Black Shoes Womens 8Skechers YOU by Womens Slip-on Shoe- Select SZ/Color.Nike Free Fit 4 Crimson Trainers Running Shoes Women's Size 9VTG USA L.L. BEAN LADIES MAINE HUNTING SHOES SZ 11 GREAT COND!! , New Keds Double Decker Glitter Blue Sneakers WF54671 Women Casual Shoes Tracking , New Balance 890 V3 Rainbow Running Shoes Size 5 Great Shape Sneakers ***Women's Classic Reebok Shoes Size 7.5 White ** OUTSTANDING **Adidas Ace 17.4 FG Women's Size 10 Mystery Ink/Easy Coral/Core Black (S77070)NEW NINE WEST SZ 5 SLIP ON SUEDE LEATHER ORANGE SNEAKERS , Skechers Relaxed Fit Good Life Memory Foam Black Shoes Sz 8 NewECCO Beige/Tan Athletic Shoes Womens Size 38 , ASICS GEL-SURVEYOR 2 T453N Women's Shoes Size us 12.5 , VANS Ankle Hi (Leila Hurst) Black Sandal Women's Shoes Size 5Skechers Shape-ups Women's Size 8.5 Walking Shoes PINK GREY , New Balance Women's WW812WT White Walking Sneaker OK , NIB New Balance 572 SL-2 Fit Women's White Sz 12 N (2A) Walking Shoes w/ Absorb , Nike Lunarlon Lunarglide 3 Women’s Silver Yellow Running Shoes Sz 9 , Nike Womens Size 11 () "Air Exceed" Womens Training (2013) 366650-111VANS New Iso 1.5 Retro Sport Vault Lady size USA 7 , Merrell CTR Cruise taupe pink womens hiking shoes size 7.5 ,

“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.

Nordstrom Black Patent Leather Simple Ballet Flats Ribbon Trim Women's 3.5 MAlegria Kel-538 Womens 8-8.5 Comfort Work Nurse Clogs Black Metallic Suede Y470Polo Ralph Lauren Authentic Black Suede and Leather Ballet Flat Shoes SIZE 8.5 , Skechers Womens Bobs B-Loved Round Toe Loafers, Black, Size 8.0 NVEG , Jambu Vegan Mary Jane Wildflower Shoes Deep Red Sz 6.5M - VG Condition , Lanvin Tan Leather Round Toe Stretch Fit Ballet Shoes Size 6 , SAS Simplify Black Leather Slip On Croc Pattern Comfort Shoes Womens Size 10 S , New EASY SPIRIT Dark Purple EVELINE Walking Slip-Ons $79 6 8 9 10 Explore 24Born Black Clog Texture Suede & Patent Leather Loafer Shoes 6.5 B.O.C. ConceptCole Haan Zerogrand Shoes Wing Tip Oxfords 10 B Suede D44060 Black Womens 2E2 , Klogs Diamond Womens Leather Clogs Display Model Shoes Storm Blue 8 MSuperga Womens 2750 Cotropeu Navy Fashion Sneakers 10 Medium (B,M) BHFO 6933 , Womens Casual Breathable Platform Wedge High Heel Sport Ankle Boots Sneakers US8women's pointy toes ankle strap Mary Janes shoes pointy toes stilettos wedding , Huge Demonia 5.25" Wedge Heel Platform Vegan White/Black Creepers Goth Mod 6-11Women's DANSKO Tan Suede Leather Clogs Mules Shoes, US 6 , WOMEN'S MUNRO LOAFERS NAVY BLUE SHINY SZ 13 NICE CONDITION SUEDE FEELNWB WOMEN'S TOMMY HILFIGER ALISA OCEAN WHITE 7 7M TENNIS SHOES SNEAKERS NEW *225MICKEY Unlimited WHITE Canvas Sneakers w/MICKEY Womens Size 7.5M , Skechers Shape ups Shoes 9.5 US Fitness Group DVD Box Women's Hot Pink Workout02-823 Skechers 12794-BKGD Women's Burst Black Gold Oxford SIZE 9 , Size 9 Brooks Ravenna 3 Women's Running Shoes Gray Neon Sneakers 1201071B739 , MERRELL BLACK BARRADO SHOES WOMENS 7 ZIP TOP FREE SHIP , Skechers Performance Women's H2 GOGA Lagoon Flip Flop Black/Pink Size 6.0Nike Air Max 90 Womens 325213-048 Dark Wolf Grey White Running Shoes Size 7.5NIB Women’s Ted Baker London Vleil Citrus Bloom High Top Sneaker Size 9 $150 , New Balance 610V5 Running Sneaker Womens Trail ShoesW NIKE ROSHE TWO 844931 602 , Vans Womens Sk8-Hi Decon SPT Mesh Sneakers White Size 9.5 NewDansko Elise Womens Sneakers Grey Suede Blue Stretch Band Comfort Sneakers Sz 40 ,

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

Get Fit Women's Size Grasshoppers Women's 8.5 Shoes Size 8.5 Light Blue, Slip On Athletic 1d8bea5 -

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

Get Fit Women's Size Grasshoppers Women's 8.5 Shoes Size 8.5 Light Blue, Slip On Athletic 1d8bea5

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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

Athletic Shoes

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.