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
LL BEAN Beige White Boat Deck Shoes Slip on Loafers Moccasins Womens Size 8.5 W , B.O.C. Born Concept Women's Shoes Black Leather Upper Size 9BEACON EUROFLEX SLIP-ON LOAFERS Tan LEATHER SZ 11 EUC. , Korks by Kork Ease Brown Leather Ballet Flats 6.5 , Polo Ralph Lauren Brown Leather Loafers Athletic Flats Shoes Size 7.5 @ cLOSeTCROCS Women's Mary Jane Aqua Gray Shoes Comfortable Lightweight Slip on Size 10wWomen’s Clark’s Pr!vo Shoes Clogs Mules Brown Leather Uppers 7 1/2M 76001 , Kenneth Cole Reaction Wyatt Slides Size 8.5 Mules Shoes Maroon VelvetRockport Womens Brown Loafers Whitney Size 6 1/2Betsey Johnson Solar Studded Mules 130, Black Multi, 9 USGEORGE BLACK BALLERINA CASUAL SHOES WORN GUC US 7 FREE SHIPPING , B.O.C By Born Womens Brown Leather Clogs/ Loafers Size 7.5 MBandolino Edition Ballet Flats 988, Navy Off White, 7.5 US , Clarks Collection Womens Flats Cushion 15807 Leather Ballerina Slip On US 5 MSperry Top Sider leather striped 2 hole boat shoe size 6.5M , Matiko Fucshia 8 pink flats loafers shoesCole Haan Air Women's Suede Leather Mule Shoes 9.5 9 1/2 D29427 EXCELLENT HeelNATURALIZER Black Suede Leather Slip On Loafer Bow Flexible Comfort Shoe Sz 8 MALDO WOMEN'S LEATHER GRAY BALLET FLATS SIZE 7Vintage Dexter Camp Moc Shoes Women size 7 Wide Brown Leather Made in USA , REPORT Women's "MOLLY" Beige Gold Studded Ballet Flats with Bow Shoe 7M, EUC , RANGONI Women Ballet Flats Size 9B Black Formal Slip On LeatherWomen's fessura Mummy Shoes Army Green Brown Mix Wrap Comfy Size 35 USA 4 5SKECHERS Casual Youth/Women's Shoes Size 6 , 02-580 Women's Bobs By Skechers Off rid Flip Flops size 6GB35 Chelaa Slip On Loafers, Black, 10 USEasy Spirit Sz 8 AA Yellow/Green Chartreuse Leather Loafers Very Gently Worn , Vintage Made Expressly for Bob Baker Black Heel Strap SlingbackShoes Sz 7 1/2 N , Bumper Sappi Ballet Flat Slip on Slip-on Stud Studded Spike Shoe Sizes 8 & 10

“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.

ROMIKA Brown Leather Open Back Comfort Clogs Shoes Women's Size: 41 / 10Women's ANNE Klein black Ballet Flats Size 6.5 Comfortable Slip On ShoesMinnetonka Womens twill junior trapper Closed Toe Silver Size 8.0 RpF9KLOGS SPOKAN Women's Clogs Display Model Shoes CHESTNUT 11 M , Dansko “Olivia” Navy Blue Polka Dot Leather Women’s Slip-On Shoes Sz 38 / 7-7.5 , **Anyi Lu Flats - Women's Size 36 ( US 6 ), Black/Metallic , MERRELL Relay Tour Beige Mary Janes Mj Strappy Walking Shoes Women's Size 6 36Minnetonka Women Above the Ankle Boots Hi Top Back Zip Boot 292,299Merrell Jungle Moc Pro Grip Womens Black Loafersterrific 8.5 SLIM S SAS SIMPLIFY BLACK LEATHER WOMENS LOAFER SHOES , Kenneth Cole Reaction Zip Slip Women's Almond Toe Ballet Flats Size 5.5 M , New Balance Running Shoes Womens Size 8 WT610BP3 5096 SHA3New Vans Womens True Solid White Classic Canvas Sneaker Shoes Left 7 Right 6.5 , Dockers Boater Moccasin Slippers - Men's Size 11/12, Brown , POLO Sport Ralph Lauren Women's X-67 Slip On Athletic Shoe Red Blue Gold Size 7M , Puma iocell 1.0 Cell Riaze Foil Training Shoe, Womens Sz 6.5.NEW! REEBOK WOMEN'S ATHLUX PRINT RUNNING SHOES SHATR SNEAKERS - SIZE 7Capezio Dance Women's Pedini Femme PP323 Size 9.5M , Hunter Womens Original Adjustable Slide Sandal Floral Stripe/Peony Hook and Loop , New Balance Womens Wcruzob Black/SeaSalt Running Shoes Size 9.5 (C,D,W) (420163) , Saucony Womens Zealot Iso 2 Running Shoe- Select SZ/Color.New Nike Shox Griffey (GS) Boys Youth 5.5Y Women's 7 Basketball Shoes 302811 411Girls Fashion Letter Printing Comfort Mid-Calf Boots High Top Athletic Shoes New , Merrell Women's Hiking Shoes Size 8 Siren Sport Elephant Pink Gray Vibram GUCLacoste Footwear Marcel Poka Dot Women's ShoesBrooks Switch 3 Women's Orange White Silver Running Athletic Sneaker Shoes 7.5Nike Roshe Two Hi Flyknit Women’s Boots 861708 001 Black - Grey SZ 5 Women’sBrooks Ghost 8 Womens Size 6.5 Running 1201931B431 Navy Blue Purple F8 , Merrell Women’s Blue Mix Master Move Glide Running Shoes Size 11Nike Free RN 2017 Athletic Shoes - Womens Size 9, Platinum/Black ,

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

Steven Comfort Lora Steven 560-800 Embroidered Lora Sneaker Mule Padded GRAY PEACOCK 10M NEW 560-800 3b4cff1 -

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

Steven Comfort Lora Steven 560-800 Embroidered Lora Sneaker Mule Padded GRAY PEACOCK 10M NEW 560-800 3b4cff1

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.