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
New Nike Womens Air Max Thea Run Running Shoes 599409-028 sz 8 Black white , SAS White Leather Casual Comfort Walking Shoes Women's Size 10 NNWOB - Women’s Nike LunarTempo 2 Running Shoe 818098-404 Blue Grey - Size 9.5Brooks Womens Glycerin 15 Black Running Shoes Size 8 (32336)New Womens Nike Air Max Sequent 3 Shoes 908993-011 Sz 7 , New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v3 Trail Running Shoes-Women's sz 7.5 GreyNIKE WOMEN'S FLEX SUPREME TR 4 SHOES SIZE 12 blue tint grenn hasta 819026 403 , Brooks Womens Cascadia 12 Purple Running Shoes Size 7.5 (36408)Women's La Sportiva FC 4.0 GTX Gore Tex Waterproof leather hiking boots size 8Gola Sport Harrier Premium Suede Brown Womens Trainers , Nike Wmns Air Zoom Strong Grey Crimson Women Training Shoes Sneakers 843975-006 , Women's Nike FS Lite Run 3 Print Running Shoes NEW Black/Blue/White , New Balance Womens Wt10gb Grey/Blue Hiking Shoes Size 8.5 (30244) , ** FiveFingers Bikila EVO WP Barefoot Shoe, Women - Size (US 7.5), Black , ADIDAS STAN SMITH W WHITE GREEN B24105 ATHLETIC ORIGINALS WOMEN'S SIZE 5 NEW WOB , Saucony Jazz Original 1044-1 Canvas Black Casual Shoes Medium (B, M) Womens , New Balance Womens Wtntrrf1 Fiji Running Shoes Size 8.5 (32824) , Nike Womens Metcon 2 Crossfit Training Shoes Size 9 821913-101Women's Nike Air Max Fury Running Shoes NEW White/Grey , MSRP $120 , Asics Women's Gel-Craze Tr 4 Ankle-High Running ShoeOnemix Original Classic Women's 3 Ways Of Wearing Platform Shoes Casual SneakersBrooks Womens 120246 Black Walking Shoes Size 10.5 (32317) , Womens K-Swiss Classic Luxury Edition leather white/blue sneakers Size 11Reebok Women's Crossfit All Terrain Super 2.0 Ankle-High Running ShoeNew Nike Womens Nikelab free Transform 5k Running Shoes 878552-001 sz 7.5 , Vans Womens Sk8 Hi Slim Zip Indigo Tropical Blue True White Sz 9.5 NIB , Converse CTAS 550669C Lux Mid Silver Womens High Top Sneakers Shoes Size 7 ~$75~ADIDAS~PURE BOOST ENDLESS ENERGY ELEMENT IN CORE ATHLETIC Shoes size 7 M~MINT~Reebok Sport Ahead Action Clps Rs Walking Women's Shoes

“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.

White Line Shoes Black White Herringbone Canvas Flats Women’s Size 8 Casual KedsLadies Spot On Casual Flat Sequin Dolly Shoe F80085 , River Island Polka Dot Pumps Size 5 Flat Shoes Pink With Black Polka DotsUpdate L4890 Ladies Ballerina style shoe Blue Studded toe detail (32A) (Kett)Jeffery Campbell Metallic Silver Pointed Slip On Flats Size 8 , Sperry Top-Sider Womens Bluefish 2 Eye Linen Oat Size US 9M , Brown Leather ROMIKA "HOOK & LOOP" Comfort Loafers 40 , Dr. Scholl's DOUBLE AIR-PILLO SHOES WOMENS SIZE 8 EDITHSAS Shoes -Size 7 N Beige Leather Easier Slip On Made in USA Womens NarrowDonald J. Pliner Patent Leather Black Narrow 7.5 N Loafer Shoe career casual euc , Women's size 9E (X) Black Propet Indoor/Outdoor Flat Comfort ShoeNEW GEOX WOMEN BALLET FLAT 6.5 M M BURGUNDY LEATHER MADE IN BRAZIL , Sperry Top-Sider A/O Quinn Women's FLATS Grey , Jack Rogers 1117FF0002 Womens Bennett Etched Fashion Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color.Klogs Madera Clogs Womens Display Model Shoes White 9.5 MDr. Scholl's Glowing Flats Memory Foam Cool Fit - Merlot Size 9 MNew Womens BOBS Flexy Slip On Shoes Size 6 33789 (B3)Avia Women's A333WB.W Black Walking Shoe 6W , Otz Shoes Sz 36 5.5 Womens Navy Blue Leather Cork Ballet Flats Slip On ComfortWOMEN PREOWN TOP QUALITY "NEW BALANCE" RUNNING/WALKING TENNIS SHOESGRAY-sz 9Woman's Asics Tennis Shoes Sz 12, Purple, PinkNEW BALANCE BARRINGER WR890 Women’s Sz 8.5B Gray Blue Running Training Shoes EUC , Naturalizer Womens Manor Black Fashion Sneakers Shoes 6.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 5730Steve Madden Women's Metallic Bristal Silver Sneakers (Size 10)Skechers Women's BOBS Plush Peace and LoveAdidas Women Shoes Duramo 8 Running Training Fitness Traniners Gym New BA8091 , Nike Air Max 90 Leather Grey White Red Fuchsia Running Shoes Womens Size 4.5 , Walking Cradles Women's Hamlet Slip OnSKECHERS SHAPE UPS TONING SHOES WOMENS SZ 7.5 GRAY/PINK COMFORT STRIDE WALKINGWomen's Nike Leather EP PRO Golf Shoes 031101 Cleat Size 8.5 EUC!! ,

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

Vans ERA Overwashed Plaid Nine Iron/White Shoes Overwashed Women's Women's Shoes 8 - Men 6.5 c125d8c -

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

Vans ERA Overwashed Plaid Nine Iron/White Shoes Overwashed Women's Women's Shoes 8 - Men 6.5 c125d8c

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.