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
Merrell Allure Mary Janes Size 9.5 Womens Espresso Brown Leather Ortholite ShoesEasy Street Holly Comfort Mules, Black Patent Croc, 5.5 US , Women’s Mules Brown Suede Leather Slip On Faux Fur Casual Size 8 USsalvatore ferragamo Women's Gold Metallic Pointed Toe Slip On Flats Size 8.5AA , NIB New Gianni Bini Black Maurie Sequined Slip On Flats - Size 6.5 , Asos Mule Loafer Size US7 UK5 EU37 , BORN Women's Slip On Comfort Loafers Brown Leather Upper Size 8.5 M/W 40 , Lpb Les Ptites Bombes Black Leather Ballet Flats With Bow Size 39 , PROPET Size 7 M Tan Suede + Smooth Leather Elastic Mary Jane Low-Heel Slip-OnsEnzo Angiolini Brown Shoes Size 8 Leather Loafer Tan Slip on Flats New F4 , Womens Pink Flats Shoes - BIN15 , AK FLEX MAKAYLEAH BEAUTIFUL PATENT LEATHER FLAT SHOES SZ 8MWomen's Naturalizer Walking Comfort Black Leather Loafers Slip-on Shoes 8 1/2 W , Cherokee tan brown leather shoe with buckle 8.5 NWOB size 8 1/2 , Sam Edelman Ballet Flats Size 6 Bronze Leather Chain Toe Slip On Shoes , Keen Size 5 Mary Jane Orange Flats Womens Comfort MJ Walking , Nickels Soft Women's Sz 7.5 M Dark Maroon Brown Loafer Flats Buckle "Ariana"Jessica Simpson Size 4 Ballet Flats Brown LeatherRangoni Made in Italy 7AA Slip On Loafers Italian Leather Driving Moccasins , GAP Shoes Women, Pointy Toe Flats, FloralTextile, Size: 7, never wornBASS Womens BROWN Leather Slip- On Slide Mules Shoe Size 7MSEA VEES SEAVEES Monterey Sneaker Womens 8.5, Corsair Canvas, Teal Shoes , cole haan womens shoes 8.5 flatsBareTraps women's size 8.5 Suede Rosette Lynsey Ballet Flats BrownClarks Artisan Heels Sz 9M Made In Brazil Suede Uppers burgandy (red) Maryjanes , 360 Rare Easy Spirit WalkHight Walking Clogs Gun Metal Gray Shoes Sz 5 1/2 , WOMEN BLACK LEATHER HUSH PUPPIES CALEB LOAFERS SIZE 7M NWOB !! , Women's slip on black Shoes by Cabin Creek size 9 1/2 W NEW NEVER WARN , STEVE MADDEN WOMANS SHOES FLATS, SANDALS Brown size 9 preowned ,

“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.

ROCKPORT Slip On Brown Leather Shoes Women's Size 8.5 , LifeStride Vanity Slip On Loafer- Women's Size 6.5 W, Black , Decree Women's Shoes Size Us 8M/Eur 39 Brown Suede Leather Moc Toe Loafers Flat , Women's Privo by Clarks Mary Jane Side Strap Comfort Brown Leather Shoes-8 M , NEW WOMENS ANDIAMO MUSTARD CENTER SHOE SIZE 6M 6 M , Privo Clarks Mary Jane Womens White Leather Perforated Black Stripe Shoes Sz 6BEEE Coolers Ladies Casual Shoes Extra Wide Slip on Shoes Summer FruitsEASY STREET Womens Black PURPOSE Faux Leather Round Toe Loafers Size 11MWomen's Merrell Albany Rift Mary Janes Flats Arabian Spice Shoes Sz. 8 M $95Dolce Vita Womens Loafers 8 Gray Beige Suede Leather Monk Strap Oxford Buckle , NEW RED Keds Women’s Champion Canvas Sneaker Tennis Shoes Size US 6.5 WK 313 M , Sperry Pennington Pink Flamingo Sz 7.5M Suede Loafers Gorgeous DesignAnn Creek Women's 'Chester' Low Heels Loafers , Nike Dual Fusion Lite Black Pink Teal 8.5 , Danskin Now White WoMens Choice Slip On Athletic Shoes 11 Eleven 43 European Hot , Nike Air Max Neon Pink US 5Skechers Women's Flex Appeal Trainers 12508 Charcoal/Pink/Neon Green [167Q] , Spring Women's Patent Leather Oxfords Rhinestone Jewel Decor Oxfords Pump ShoesMaypol Espadrille Shoes Sz 45 US 14 BlushSoft Suede Leather Flats Anthropologie , NEW BALANCE HOOK AND LOOP 928V2 WW928HW2 WOMEN'S WALKING SHOES Sz 12 SNEAKERSNew Women Men Tennis Volleyball Sneakers Walking Running Trainner Sport ShoesWomen's or Youth NIKI Flex Experience RN5 Size 6 YW Gray Black Athletic Shoes , MIZUNO Wave Rider 18 Mesh Running Shoes - Turquoise/Blue/Magenta - Women's W9Skechers Sport Women's Women's Ultra Flex Capsule Sneaker Pink 9 B(M) USVans Sk8-Hi Slim Zip DX Mono Python Angora Cream Off Women's 5.5 RAREVionic with Orthaheel Technology Noosa Flip Flop Sandal Red Tropical/BronzeNew Women Casual Glitter Mid Heels Hidden Wedges Slip On Shoes Sneakers LoafersRYKA Ryka Womens Vida RZX Cross TrainerM- Pick SZ/Color. , Nike 6.0 Dunk Ladies Sneakers Green Orange White Blue Shoes Size 9 Preloved(H-10) Brooks Women's Revel Running Shoes Women size 10.5 Medium (B) ,

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

SKECHERS Size Size 7 M Leather Brown 7 Suede + Smooth Leather Adjustable Low-Heel Mary Janes b9172c9 - 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

SKECHERS Size Size 7 M Leather Brown 7 Suede + Smooth Leather Adjustable Low-Heel Mary Janes b9172c9

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.