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
Womens FILA Cress Casual Athletic Classic Retro Silhouette Shoes Sneakers NEW , 03-260 Women's FRYE Alexis Low Sneakers size 8.5 M , Sperry - Sky Sail Canvas Sneakers, Women's Size 5 M, WhiteWomen's Skechers Sneakers - Go Walk Joy-Rapture - Black/Grey - New! , Nike Women's Size 10 Tanjun Black White Training Running Athletic Shoes F3-134 , New Balance Womens Shoes Track Spikes WMD500Y5 Size 6 , Keen Womens Leather Green Gray Walking Hiking Oxfords Sneakers Shoes Size 8 38.5Nike Zoom Fit Trainer Shoes Fuchsia Pink Black White 704658 602 $90 Womens US 9Nike Womens Downshifter 6 Sneakers 684765-002 WIDE Athletic Training Shoes NIB , Womens NIKE Dual Racer Black/Purple/Green Sneakers Shoes- Size 8.5Roxy Women's Minnow Sneaker Multicolor Size 8 1/2Converse All-Star White & Silver Women’s High TopsNike SHOX White Pink Running Shoes 311453 161 6Y = Womens 7.5 , WOMENS CONVERSE ALL STAR CHUCK TAYLOR CT HI TOP TRI ZIP 547300C Black , Steve Madden Womens Jordy Black Fashion Sneakers Shoes 8 Medium (B,M) BHFO 6072 , SALOMON Sense Pro 2 Women’s Trailrunning Shoes Size 6. Less Than 6 Miles of Use! , Women Size 9.5 Nike Air Torch 3 Gray Pink Trail Running Shoes A2807 , Skechers Women's Shape Ups X Wear Hyper ActiveMARGARITAVILLE PINK BEIGE LEATHER LOAFERS SLIP ONS MULES SHOES US WOMENS SZ 9.5Shoes Breathable Running Sport Wedge Comfortable Walking Slip Fashion Women 2018 , Puma roma rain camo glacier gray free shippingPropet Rejuve? W5100 Billie Women's Navy / Grey / Pink Lightweight Walking Shoes , Nike Free Flyknit+ Black-White Running Fitness Trainer Women SZ 10 [615806-010] , New Puma Women's Basket Classic Metallic Sneakers Vegan Leather Shoes Sz 7 M NIB , Womens Ladies High Platform Trainers Sneakers Retro Boots Hi Top Wedge Punk Goth , New Balance W420LP3 Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 9 D, Pink/BlackK1X WMNS Shorty H1TOP LE women lifestyle casual shoes NEW bright blue black , Women’s Asics Gel-Noosa Tri 8 T356N Rainbow Holographic Running Sneakers Sz 9.5 , Gotta Flurt Women's Hip Hop HD High Top Studded Fashion Sneakers Black White

“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.

DEXTER Brown Pebbled Leather Mocs/Loafers~Elf Toe Boat Shoe~Womens Size 8~GUC , J CREW BURGUNDY SLOAN SUEDE D’ORSAY FLATS SIZE 6 $195 , Merrell Air Cushion Q Form Comfort Light Brown Canvas Shoes Sz 5Spot On F8783 Ladies Pink Suede Effect with Patent Toe Flat Shoe (32A) (kett) , SAS TRIPAD Womens Sz 8.5 N Comfort Loafer Shoes Tassel Kilt Brown Slip On ShoesMerrell Carousel Desert Sage Flat Shoes Women 7.5 Slip-on Mary Jane SBSperry Topsider Loafers Women's 7.5 Medium Black Sequin (tu27)Dansko Wedge Slip On Mule Shoe Leather Brown Burgundy Clog Open Back Sz 37 6.5 7Abound Kiley Flat - Blush Faux Leather Size 6 , New Women Wild Rose Camel-01 Glitter Pointy Toe D'Orsay Slip On Ballet FlatMerrell Entice Slip On Shoes Women's sz 8 M Brown Ortholite Clogs , Fashion Womens Winter Warm Slip On Rabbit Fur Shoes Loafers Black Slippers CasuaJOSEF SEIBEL brown leather oxford slip ons size 39 European comfort shoe xlnt!Bass Womens Brown Leather Slip On Mules, Size 8M mpcSkechers BOBS from Womens Bobs Plush-Wag Town Flat 6- Select SZ/Color. , Rieker Slippers Bellerina Court Shoes Beige, Soft Inner Sole NEW , Reebok Women's Solestead Track Shoe Size 9M - 59998 PurpleM Gemi Womens Black Bronze Slip On Walking Sneakers Size 37 7Cat Denim Sport Shoes Women Fashion Running Trainer Walking Low Up Sneakers Blue , Asics Gel Ziruss Smoke Blue Womens Size 8 Athletic Running Shoes T7J6N D3 , Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0 High Energy Sneakers, Women's - Size 8.5, Purple/Orange , Skechers Shape-Ups 11814 Toning Walking Shoes Womens Size 8 pre-ownedNEW Salomon Women 's 7 Smoothie Shoe Black / AquaAdidas Womens - White Fashion Shoes Size 10 (363893) , Women Reebok Work N Cushion 3.0 Oil Resistant BS9527 Black 100% Original NewNEW Women Asics FUSEX LYTE T670N.9901 Oynx/White/Turquoise Running Shoe Sz 6.5Skechers Women's Bora - Rhapsody Lifestyle Shoe , SAUCONY EXCURSION TR10 SNEAKERS WALKING RUNNING TRAIL WORK SHOES WOMENS SZ 7 , New Asics Womens Kanmei Athletic Running Shoes T7H6N, Sz 6.5, Cosmo Pink , Women's Size 9.5 M Bass Yukon Green Suede Leather Hiking Trail Shoes Boots ,

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


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


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.