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
WOMEN'S SIZE 8 M SALOMON XR-CROSSMAX-1 ATHLETIC SHOES GREEN EXCELLENT !Brooks Pure Flow running shoes size 8 DRuco Line Sz 8 US (38) Black Leather Booties Platform stilettos Shoes Italy Made , Nike Veranda Ladies Golf Shoe Siz3 6.5 New In BoxWomens MERRELL MESA VENTILATOR Blue Gray Hiking Shoes Size US 6.5 M (b31)Women's Converse All Team Star Oxford Cheering Shoe 9 white w/ color card UVGC!NIKE Classic Cortez Retro Nylon Shoes 749512 601 Youth Women Size 6 Hyper Pink , Brooks Pure Flow Pureflow Womens Running Training Shoes Blue Green Sz 6.5 C9sneakers basket chaussure femme sexy a scratch multicolore brillantes 40 neuveASICS Ortholite T765Q Gel-Contend 4 Running Shoe, Silver/Aquariam/Sharp Green 9M , Womens Reebok Furylite Slip On Lux Tin Grey Chalk Reebok Brass V69632 , NIKE WMNS ROSHERUN SNEAKERBOOT 616724-200 SIZE 5US/35.5EUR/22CM NEW IN BOX NIB , Saucony Excursion TR 5 Womens Running Shoes Size 10Skechers Heathered Grey White Dual Lite Sport Memory Foam Comfort Women SZ 8 , A PAIR OF BOYS 5.5 /GIRLS 8 AIR JORDAN B. FLY SNEAKERS MUST SEE GREAT $$ , NEW Womens Converse Chuck Taylor Shoreline Sneaker Maroon Womens ShoesEasy Street Womens Barbara Low Top Slip On, Black Leather/Fabric, Size 9.0 AvPcNew Balance 711 Womens Gray/Multi Color Blue Athletic Running Shoes Size US 10Women's Platform Loafers Sneaker Skateboard Sport Slip On Shoes Hidden Wedge , Asics GT-1000 womens running shoe size 9.5 Nice! NO INSERTS , Saucony Originals Women`s Bullet Classic Retro Sneaker Navy/White, Size 7.5 M USWomen's Nike Dunk High W'S 318676-211 Size 7.5 , Skechers Womens Repute Taupe Walking Shoes Size 6.5 (17267)The North Face Womens Litewave Ampere Blue Size 9 , ASICS GEL-CONTEND 2 SZ 11.5 Women's Running Training Shoes T474NFabletics Zuma Studio Sneaker Size 10 , Aetrex X521 W Reg Price $135.00Nike Air Max Siren Snake Print Women's Size 11 US 43 Black WhiteBrooks Adrenaline GTS Running Shoes Womens Size 9

“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.

Worthington Size 9 M Loafer Flat Shoes Linda Made Brazil Navy Blue Textured Top , Women's Moccasin Style Shoes Size 9 , WOMEN'S NAVAJO DESIGN OPEN TOE CLOGS MADE IN ITALY SZ 8.5-9Taryn Rose Womens Ballet Flats Size 8 Patent Leather Pony Hair Animal Print , Caramel Brown Faux Leather Floral Embossed BASS Melinda Stapled Clogs 7 M , Eddie Bauer Womens Size 7.5 Brown Leather Mules Clogs SlidesEasy Spirit Kaleo Slip On Comfort Flats, Black/Black , Dakota Quad Lite STSP Women's Grey/Black Sneakers 8M , Womens MERRELL Size 8.5 Bare Access Arc Smoke White Gray Blue Vibram ShoesSALE F50063 LADIES WOMEN CASUAL TRAINERS THICK SOLE BASEBALL BOOT CANVAS SIZE , NIKE FREE Women's Training Shoe TR FIT 5 SIZE 7.5 Black Neon USED CLEAN , Taylor Swift Keds Champion LTD Sneakers Black Velvet Glitter Dots Size 9 , Fila Big-Kids FACTION 3 Sz.5 Athletic Med .Yellow/Black/White RM00179-703NEW BALANCE 474 TRAIL WOMENS 8 SHOES , Women's Reebok Classic Top Down Shoes Sneakers Size 10 Brown Bronze Training X15CONVERSE JACK PURCELL Womens White Brown Sneakers Shoes Size 8New FitFlop Womens F- Pop Oxford Canvas Mazarin Blue Fashion Sneaker Size 10K-Swiss Novo Demi Womens Fashion Sneaker- WHITE SIZE 8.5MNike City Trainer Womens Training Running Shoes Black & Solar Red SZ 6.5 , Women's SKECHERS WOMEN YOU-RISE WALKING/ATHLETIC 14958/BLACK/WHITE New Listing Athletic ShoesWOMEN'S Size 10.5 NIKE FREE FOCUS FLYKNIT 2 RUNNING SHOES PINK/White 880630-6012016 Women's Adidas ORIGINALS ZX FLUX ADV VIRTUE Shoes - Size US 7 , Reebok Womens Steel Toed Work Shoes , Womens ASICS GEL LYTE III Black Trainers HN6K5 9090Rocket Dog Women's Reagle Dash Nylon/Moonwalk Pu Fashion SneakerNike Air Jordan 1 Retro Womens Low Top NS NRG Shoe Black AJ6004-010 NEW Sz 7ASICS Womens T696n DivaBlue/Silver/AquaSplash Running Shoes Size 10 (364756) , Patagonia Women’s 8.5 Tailored Grey Green Light Weight Fashion Sneakers ShoesWomen's Adidas Energy Boost Running Shoes Black Pink White Size 11 M29744(H-15) Hoka One One Hupana 2 Women size 5 Running Shoes ,

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 26073 Graceful Get Connected ZV-1188 Women’s Sz 8.5 Gray Green Gray Sneakers Shoes ZV-1188 402b04c - 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 26073 Graceful Get Connected ZV-1188 Women’s Sz 8.5 Gray Green Gray Sneakers Shoes ZV-1188 402b04c

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.