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 Womens Top Sider Angelfish Sand Serape Leather Stripe Size 8M (Worn Once)New JUDITH RIPKA ROBIN snake print leather pointy toe low heel shoes Sz 9.5MDONALD J PLINER Womens Loafers Flats Leopard Brown Black Sz 7.5 M Furry ItalyAerosoles True Match Blue Croco Wedge Slip On Size 5.5Beautifeel womens black Amy luminous croc suede loafers 39 8.5 M EUCBASS Mules Clogs Women Shoes Size 8M Brown Tassel Loafers Boat Shoes LeatherLily Pulitzer Green Moccasin Boat Shoes Women's Size 10M , Cole Haan Block Heel Loafer Womens Size 8 B Beige Taupe Suede Slip On Shoe Italy , Womens THE FLEXX Bon Gout Black Quilted Leather Ballet Flat Size 6.5Ferragamo Women's Black Loafer Shoes- Size 7B , Women's Earth Dory Boat Shoe Sneaker Sz 12B Red Leather Kalso Negative Heel AC13 , Clarks Artisan Slip On Side Buckle Suede Nubuck Mules Women's Size 10Mclarks slip on loafers ashland bubble 9.5 wide tan , Munro Mary Janes Shoes Sneakers Size 10 M Tan Beige Nude , SAS Tripad Metro Black Patent Leather Horsebit Loafers 6.5W Made in USA , Natural Soul Veronica Faux Leather Slip On Sneakers, Women's Size 7.5 W, Black , Earth Shoes Women's Pirouette Mary Jane Size 6.5 Black Comfort Shoes RuffleIsola Women's Brown/Multi Color Leather Flats 8 W , Women's Franco Sarto Size 10M Loafers Shoes Black Leather Horsebit (sh-29) , Ecco Women's Giraffe Print Flats Sz 39 Black Brown Leather Casual Career ShoesEtienne Aigner Navy Blue Ally Leather Loafers Flats Shoes w Tassles - 8M - USED , Birkenstock Brown Suede Clogs Size 7 Shoes L7 M5Born Brown Leather Slip On Wedge Heel Clogs Shoes w Buckle Size 11 , SIXTY SEVEN Shoes Flats Slip On Women's 41 Made in Spain Light Tan-NICE!BCBGeneration Millie Flats-Women's size 7B Rose Gold , Bass Cortney Loafers Light Beige Womens Size 8.5M Made in Brazil Great Shape!BOC BORN CONCEPT Women's Shoes Leather Slip On Clogs Black Size 9MDR MARTENS Womens UK Size 4 / US 6 LEATHER Brown Buckle MARY JANES US Size 6Summit By White Mountain Black Italian Leather Twin Gore Size 41

“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.

Charlie & Keith tuape/gold/brown leather pointy flats shoes sz 7/ 37Dansko Women's Size 40 Professional Black Leather Clogs Work Shoes NursingNina Rigby PM Women's Gold Crystal/ Platino Dress Pump 8M , LL Bean Womens Size 9 Brown Slip On 1.25" Heel Zip Top Shoes Great Condition , NINE WEST BLUE SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 M , Anne Klein Womens yupika Closed Toe Mules , J Renee Black Suede Leather Christmas Flats Mule Slide Embroidered Sz 7.5 MMERRELL Women's Brown Leather Mary Jane Style Slip On Mule Clog Flat Size 8.5 M , Women's JOE'S JEANS Leather Snake Print Flat Ballerina Slip On Shoes Size 8 MLucky Brand Originals 2 Eye Women's 9.5/39.5 Boat Brown Leather and Canvas Shoes , E 360 Easy Spirit Women's Black Synthetic Slip On Comfrt Shoes US Size 7.5 M A29 , Enzo Angiolini Liberty Leather/Patent Leather Top Comfort Flats Shoes Size 6MDr Martens 8065 Strap Mary Janes Brown Womens U.K. 5 U.S.7 Pre Owned England MWomen’s SIZE 9.5 INOV8 F-LITE 235 Running ShoesNew Oxfords Womens Shoes Leather Bee Embroidery Casual Loafers Slip onsEric Michael Candace Womens Suede Espadrilles Slip On Elastic Ankle Shoes , Sperry TopSider Women's Pier View Canvas Sneakers Size 7.5M , Sperry Top Sider Women Green Fabric Leather Boating Camp Deck Slip On Shoe 8.5 MNEW VANELI COCO BROWN SUEDE DRIVING MOCASSIN/LOAFER STYLE - SIZE 8 1/2M , JBU Jambu Women Stark Water Shoe Black Vegan Size 8 M Strap Comfort CasualKeen Palisades Women's Hiking Trail Shoes Brown Size 9 Tan/brown/purple 1003894Rare Crazy Multi- Color Satin Nike High Top Sneakers W 7.5Women's Nike Luna Forever Size 10 Quality Primacy Athletic ShoesNIB NEW Balance Women's WW669BR Walking shoes sneakers Brown Size 10 B MediumSkechers Millennial Take Note Womens 23541-LTGY Light Grey SlipOn Shoes Size 9.5WOMEN'S SHOES SNEAKERS ADIDAS CITY RACER [B74492]Skechers Originals Womens Retros Retrospect Fashion Sneaker- Pick SZ/Color.NEW IN BOX RARE NIKE AIR TRAINER GR WOMEN'S SZ 7 714065-211Reebok Cardio Edge Low Fitness Womens Running Gym Trainers ShoesColumbia Graci 2 White Leather Slip On Walking Shoes Womens 8 Med Sneakers Blue ,

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

Clark's Artisan Tona Tona Reach Women's 26159 Brown Mary Janes Slip M On Shoes Size 7.5 M 9d32c15 - 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

Clark's Artisan Tona Tona Reach Women's 26159 Brown Mary Janes Slip M On Shoes Size 7.5 M 9d32c15

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.