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
SPERRY TOPSIDER Wms Black NuBuck Boat Shoes Gold Accents, Sz 8 M, VGUC NICE LOOKMerrell Circuit MJ Brown Print Active Performance Women's Shoes Sz 9Clarks Women's Brown Leather Straps Button Split Toe Slip On Loafers Shoes 10 M , Isaac Mizrahi Imalia Medium Pink Suede 10 NEWLL BEAN Women’s Suede Camel Slip on Loafers OHN5704, Size 9Minnetonka Women's Brown Suede and Fabric Moccasins / Sz 7 MCroft & Barrow Memory Foam Woven Slip on Shoe 7.5 Med Blue Open Toe SandleCrocs Olivia II Lined Ballet Flat Size 7 Womens Plum 203428-504Jessica Simpson JP-ANGELIQUE Women's Metallic Silver Skin Flats Shoes Size 8.5Ariat womens navy nubuck embroidered wedge floral mary janes 7.5 B EUC , Etienne Aigner Emory Loafers Cognac Brown Women’s Size 6 M Gold Metal Accent EUC , Clarks Women Gael Rex 26102169 Black Slip On Stretch Croc Print SZ-9 M , Women's Michelle D Leather Silver Ballerina Flats W/ Bow Size US 7.5 MNew Fossil Brown Flats Womens 7 M Burlap Roping Casual Slip-Ons Loafers Mocs , Born BOC Concept Shoe Slip On Clog Black Leather BC3632 Peggy Nursing Size 6.5 W , ENZO ANGIOLINI Liberty Women US 6M Butter Yellow Leather Moc Toe Loafer CareerClarks Bendables Brown Leather Round Toe Elastic Loafers 62729 Womens Size 8.5 MClarks Oxfords Shoes Sz 8 M Black Suede Canvas 26104919 Womens 1E1 , Choice of Color DV by Dolce Vita Tia Espadrilles Ballet Flats Shoes NWOB A166 , Clarks Everyday Loafers Brown Patent Ladies Shoes Croc Print Size 8 1/2 N , Born Brown Leather Slip On Mules Heels Womens Shoes 8M 2V4Aerology by Aerosoles Brown Leather Loafers Slip On Career Womens 8 Comfort , Etienne Aigner 'Canoe' Size 8.5 Black Leather Slip-On Open-Back Loafers , Munro Womens 8 Narrow Mary Janes Shoe Suede Buckle Black Shock Absorb Heel , Sperry Women's Top Sider Shoes Anglefish Leather w/Tweed Size 7M , Naot Womens Slip Ons Mary Jane Black Shoes Flats Sz 38 US 7 Comfort AdjustableSteve Madden Exsess Loafers Pewter Metallic Women's Slip On Shoes Size 8.5B , B.O.C Born concept Womens Black/Brown leopard Platform Clog 8 / 39 bc 8638 , Vince Camuto VP-LUNNA Leopard Flats SZ 7 B Gray Brown Animal Print EUC ,

“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.

NATURALIZER N5 Comfort Dallen Womens Loafers Leather Shoes Sz 7.5 Narrow EUCSoftspots Women's Venus Lite Comfort Shoes - Size 9 M - Bone Leather , Clarks Artisan 87171 Multi Color Leather/Canvas Slip On Buckle Ballet Flats 7 M , Womens Ladies Summer Thong Diamante Sandals Flat Beach Holiday Gladiator Shoes , French Shrimer Women's Size 9M Brown Flat Soft Leather Round Toe ShoesWomen's Naturalizer Genuine Handsewn Beige Leather Loafers US 7M SZ Great shape! , New Comfortview Fay Ballet Flat 12W silver Faux Patent Leather Lizard COMFORT , Born Brown Leather Slides Womens Sz 6 / 36.5 M Slip On Shoes Mule B9451Easy Street Purpose Slip-On Flats, Brown Patent Croc, 7.5 US , EASY SPIRIT WOMEN'S BEIGE SPORT OXFORD SHOES SIZE 8DKNY Ladies Loafer Size 7.5 M Brown Logo Sneaker Slip OnEasy Spirit Womens Kimmie Closed Toe LoafersWomen's Shoes Donald J Pliner Platform Loafers Slip On Black Suede Sparkle 6.5 , Eastland Women's Sunset MLB Mets Boat Shoe - Choose SZ/ColorWomen's Pointed Toe Embroidered Mules Shoes Outdoor Slippers Closed Toe SlidesNANETTE NANETTE LEPORE Pewter Holly Brocade Loafer Mules PEWTER Size 7Converse Chuck II Women's Fashion Sneakers Black/Mason/White , SPORT BY SKECHERS COMPOSITION SHOES / WHITE SLIP-ON LEATHER SNEAKERS Size 8 NEW , Bar Iii Hint Slip-On Sneakers White Size 10M6 | Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star Women Optic Yellow Canvas Sneaker Shoe , New Balance Women’s Running Tennis Shoes Athletic Heritage Size 10.5 Width 2A , SAUCONY COHESION 6 SZ 8 Gray Pink Sneakers Walking Running Work Shoes For WomenWOMENS NIKE FREE RN MOTION FK WOLF GREY BLACK VOLT 880846 002 NWB $150.00 SHOENew Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Patent Leather High Top Sneaker Shoe , NIKE WOMENS MULTICOURT 6 STYLISH RUNNING WORK OUT CASUAL ATHLETIC SHOES WMNS NWB**Saucony Havok XC Spike Running Shoes, Women's Size 8, Purple/Coral , Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II 2 White Lunarlon Womens Shoes Size 10 Textile , NEW PUMA BASKET SHOES SNEAKERS WOMENS CLASSIC METALLIC BLACK SIZE US 6 , Womens Skechers Lite Step - Reactive 48857 BLK #BRASICS~FUZE X LYTE T670N~MIDGREY WHITE PINK GLOW Running SHOES~SIZE 10 ,

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

BORN "Crown" silver leather "Crown" ballet flats kelvinsi-26491 | women's women's size 8.5 f5906db - 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

BORN "Crown" silver leather "Crown" ballet flats kelvinsi-26491 | women's women's size 8.5 f5906db

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.