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
Clarks Women's Sharon Noel Sneaker , Adidas Women's Barricade Court Running Tennis Shoes Black - AH2104 , NEW Women's Nike Black Gray Hot Pink Fishnet Mesh Running Training Shoes 7Skechers Sport Size 9 BREATHE EASY SAVE THE DAY Black Sneakers New Womens ShoesA472G Nike Women's Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 863780-405 Size 11 NEW Retail $160Vans Women Athletic Shoes Authentic (glitter Textile) Grey , NEW Womens Sz 6.5 ASICS Rush33 T1H7N 5036 Navy Blue Purple Sneakers Shoes , 820201-430 Nike Women Tanjun Print Racer Blue TurquoiseAsics Gel GT II (H593Y-5128) (Dark Blue/Magenta/Lime Green) "Oddity Pack" Women , Nike Air Prestige III 2011-12 Liquid Lime/white Womens US 8 Shoes , NWT Womens Nike Dual Fusion TR 2 Print Shoes StyleAdidas Women's Superstar Rize Originals W Casual Shoe , WOMEN'S NIKE FREE TR CONNECT 2 SHOES SIZE 6.5 red violet magenta 638680 500 , SANUK KAT FRINGE CHESTNUT SUEDE SIDEWALK SHOES US 6 / / NWTBrooks A 16 Grey/Purple Running Shoes Women'd US 7.5 (J1)Brooks Launch 4 Blue/Black Running Shoes Men's US 9.5 (R3,1)NEW WOMEN SKECHERS YOU TALK MOVEMENT BLACK WHITE MESH FABRIC UPPER 14951 ORIGINASaucony Women's Grid Jazz 99 i Running Shoes White/Navy/Lt Blue Size 6.5 - NIB , Iridescent Holographic Adidas Size 6 Women’s Youth Tennis Shoes Sneakers Rare , Nike Free 5.0 TR FlT 4 PRINT Cross Training Shoes 8 New 629832 401 LightweightWomens Nike W Air Huarache Light PRM Trainers 819011 001NWOB Women's Vans Sk8-Hi Slim (j&s) Frost Gray VN0A32R2EE Size us 10 , MBT ART. TONING WALKING SHOE-WOMENS SIZE 9US/39.6EU/6EUCValentine's Day Special Couple Print Running Shoes For Women- Free ShippingNike Women Air Force I Leather Suede Athletic Sneakers Blue Gum Sz 6Women's Asics GT-2000 4 Running Shoes - Black/Blue/Yellow - NIB! , ADIDAS Adizero Ambition Purple Orange Distance Track Spike Shoes NEW Womens Sz 7 , New in box! Saucony Women's Grid Type A5 Running Shoe in Yellow Size: 8 , Asics Gel-Contend 4 Grey/Silver/Mint Running Shoe Women's US 9.5 Eur 41.5 (A,0)

“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.

FRUMA! Women's Gold Chain Detail Faux Suede Slip On Loafer Flats in Black , Spot On Ladies Shoes F8812 Powder Pink x8(R5B)Boohoo Nancy Black Floral Embroidered Slip On Mule Loafer Women’s Sz 7Born Concept Shoes Womens Peggy Black BOC Leather Slip Ons Clogs Size 9NEW BEIRA RIO DUSTY WOMENS CUSHIONED BALLET FLAT SHOES MADE IN BRAZIL , Belle Sigerson Morrison Metallic Bow Design Slide On Closure Flats Size 8.5 , Clarks COLLECTION BROWN SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 1/2 MPaul Green Taupe Patent Leather Slip On Platform Loafers Women’s Size US 6Ladies Leather Shoes Made In Italy Loafers Size 6.5Aerosoles Womens Fast Bet Leather Closed Toe Ballet Flats, Blue, Size 10.0 , Dr. Scholl's Womens anyway Closed Toe Mules Black Size 8.5 , Women's Etonic bowling shoes size 8.5MNike Shoes Women 7.5 Great Condition02-3520 Women's Dolce Vita Zadie Sneaker, Adult, Size 9 , Nike Women's Size 9.5 FS Lite Run Free Premium Running ShoesNew Women Qupid Reba-17C Leatherette Quilted Slip On Sneaker , Minnetonka Womens twill junior trapper Closed Toe Cinnamon Size 8.0 8BbSAHNU KARMA LATITUDE LEATHER STRAPPY YOGA SHOES ALDER BARK BROWN SIZE 6 US -NEWEd Hardy Women's Gas Leak sneaker Shoe Grey 6 , Saucony Womens - Pink Running Shoes Size 7.5 (362415) , NEW BALANCE 500 VERSION 2, MIDDLE DISTANCE, WOMEN US 10.5 PRE-OWNEDDiesel Womens Moslette Shoes Sneakers Strap Casual Black Grey Size 8.5M , Keen Versatrail Women's Size 7.5 Teal Gray Athletic SneakersMISMATCH Size L-7.5 R-8.5 BROOKS PureFlow 2 Running Shoes Diva Pink Black SilverVans Cedar Womens Shoes Plaid Navy Multi Trainers Various Sizes , NIKE WOMENS AIR HUARACHE RUN PREMIUM SUEDE MEDIUM GREY/OFF WHITE 833145-002 , BNIB Reebok Sublite Escape 2.0 MT Women's Running Shoe, Gravel/black/pinkLa Sportiva Womens Bushido Athletic Trail Running Shoes US 8.5New Balance Womens - Merlot Walking Shoes Size 7.5 (344994) , Reebok Womens Trail Running Shoe Purple Black US 6 NEW!

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

Nike $120 Women’s Internationalist Jacquard Prem Trainer Fly Size 7 $120 Max Max Fly Presto 8f4e3d3 -

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

Nike $120 Women’s Internationalist Jacquard Prem Trainer Fly Size 7 $120 Max Max Fly Presto 8f4e3d3

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.