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
Nike Swoosh Women's Shoes Size 6ASICS Gel Foundation T5H6N Silver Pistachio Pink (D) Width Athletic Shoes Sz 9 , Columbia Joely Casual Sneakers, Black/Purple, Womens US Size 6.5U.S. Polo Assn.Women Lexie Blue Gray Pink Plaid Fashion Sneaker Women's 9.5 , SM New York Womens Apple Casual Sneaker White Floral size 6 NEW , CONVERSE ALL STAR Chuck Taylor 3 Zipper Black High Top Sneakers, Size 6NEW! Skechers Womens Go Walk 4 Glorify Shoes Grey/White K szHi-Tec Sierra Lite Original Women US 8.5 Multi Color 120/00174 In nice conditionNew K-Swiss Womens Aero Trainer Black/White Fashion Shoes Size 6.5Propet Women's TravelFit Hi Sneaker, Pink Synthetic, 10 W US , Nike Air Max Torch 4 Running Shoes Women's sz 9.5 343851-036 Pink Yellow Gray , Women's Outdoor Beach Pool Creek Water Shoes W2285L (Adults 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13) , Women’s Adidas Adifast Athletic Shoes Size 6M Multi-ColorSalomon women sneakers 7 (FTY 643001) , New! Women's Puma Match Low Gold Sneakers Style 362338-01 Size 8.5 Gold W77 rr , Sz 8.5 PUMA Pink & White Open Sides Athletic EUC Fashion Walking Tennis Shoes , ** Ryka Henley Fabric Slip On Sneakers, Women's Size 5 M, Teal/Pink NEWLadies Prom Party Ballroom Latin Tango Modern Salsa Dance Shoes Heels Sandals 1PJordan Flight 3 Premium Leather - Boy's Size 7Y - Free Shipping , Merrell Barrado Midnight Womens 8.5 Black Leather Zip Up Walking ShoesEUC Women Nike Shoes Black/Orange Size 9.5 , Nike White "Ugly" Sneakers Discoloration White / Yellowed Size 7.5Women's Alegria by PG Lite Mary Janes Black Size 36 , Nike Womens One Spirit Cheer Shoes, Size 12, White LeatherREDUCED-NIKE IN-SEASON TR5, WOMAN SNEAKERS, GRAYW/BRT PNK TRIM, SZ 7, , New!!! Womens Skechers 14479 GOGA MAX 5 Gen Navy 411M ssWomen's NIKE Pink & White Flat Training Workout Shoes Sneaker US8 UK5.5Fashion Floral Sport Shoes Running Athletic Shoes Sneaker NEW Womens Mens , Asics Gel 190TR Womens Size 8 Running Shoes White Aqua S571N ,

“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.

NEW $70 HUSH PUPPIES WOMENS SLIP ON SHOES BLACK LEATHER/TEXTILE FLATS 7M , SODA ~ PATTERNED RATTAN ESPADRILLE WEDGE UPPER ~ W/ ANKLE STRAP ~ TEAL ~ KICKOF , Luxury Rebel Womens Sari Blue Buckle Ballet Flats Shoes 9 Medium (B,M) BHFO 0026 , Mojari Women Shoes Leather Flip-Flops Maroon Indian Ballerinas US 6-9 , FRANCO SARTO Red Leather Loafer Style Slide Mule Flats 6M Soft Casual Career #eIsaac Mizrahi Live TooCute SOHO Velvet Bow Slip-On Sneakers Womens 9.5 M Dk Red+ASICS Women's GEL-Contend 2 Running Shoes T474N Green/Silver Size 9.5M , WOMEN'S NIKE RUNNING/WALKING MAX AIR BOWERMAN SERIES SNEAKERS Size 6 , SKECHERS WOMENS GO FLEX MAX-STRENGTH ATHLETIC/RUNNING SHOES [15701/GRAY] , Aerin Norumbege Women Size 8 Red Sneakers , Nike Capri III Women's Black/multi-color Leather Casual Shoes Sz 8.5, 579619-043Women's Classic Suede Leather Loafers Crazy Price FlatsNew Balance U420 HKNB Women's Shoes Size , Skechers Go Golf Blade Golf Shoe - Women's Size 10 Gray/Bluevegan hiking tracking shoes water proof vibram sole vegan boots , Rockport 10 Brown Suede Active Sneakers Walking Running XCS Gym Yoga NWOB , Nike 819026 Womens Flex Supreme TR 4 Cross Training Low Top Shoes Sneakersadidas Originals Mens Stan Smith CF Strap TrainersVans SK8 Hi Slim Zip Leather Zephyr Blue Women's Skate Shoes Size 7NWB Nike Revolution 3 White Purple Running Training Shoes US Women's Size 11.5 , Womens Nike Revolution 3 Size 9 Wolf Grey Hyper Orange 819303 002 , ED Ellen DeGeneres Mesh & Suede Sneakers Shoes - Hachiro Lagoon Womens 11 NewNEW BALANCE 247 Women's Running Shoes (Size 9.5) Black WRL247MHNike Shox Women’s 7 Black/Purple White Spring Athletic Running Shoes 356918Inov-8 Womens - Black Running Shoes Size 11 (C,D,W) (417134)SKECHERS YOU BY Women’s WALKING shoes Size 6 L Pink .....S22 , REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 2.0 WOMENS ATHLETIC TRAINING SHOES SIZE 9.5 NEON RED V48996 , REEBOK TERRA Eco Friendly HEMP Suede SNEAKER Walking SPORT Oxford 40 Women 9 , Nike ID Rivalry 2007 Shox Womens Size 5 Silver Gray Gold Swoosh Sneakers NikeiDSKECHERS BURST 12433 CHAR women's shoes sports gymnastics sneakers running ,

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

Adidas Womens Alphabounce Rc LightGreyHeather/LightGrey/MediumGrey Running Alphabounce Womens Adidas Shoes ace1a76 -

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

Adidas Womens Alphabounce Rc LightGreyHeather/LightGrey/MediumGrey Running Alphabounce Womens Adidas Shoes ace1a76

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.