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
Salomon Womens X Mission 2 Running Shoe- Select SZ/Color. , New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Vongo Moon Phase Shoes Silver with GreySilent D Womens Tiger Hi Top Sneakers Tan Black Size 7 New , Women's 9.5 Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Running Shoes Sneakers Orange , NIKE WOMENS AIR MAX 1 PRM SZ 6 BLACK METALLIC HEMATITE BLACK 454746 005Nike Zoom Fly 2 Womens Running Shoes 5 USNike Flex Experience 3 LTR Sneaker Sport Running Shoes Trainers 653701 102 SALE , VN044LOQT Vans x Peanuts Women SK8-Hi Moc - Dog House white bone , Pearl iZumi Elite Rd IV Cycling Shoes - Women's Size 37.5, BlackASICS TIGER GEL-LYTE III 3 Women's Sneakers Leisure Shoes Trainers Low Shoes , Women's Nike Air Relentless 6 Pure Platinum Racer Grey/Pink Size 5.5 , NEW VASQUE WOMENS 7821 SZ 7 Skadia Brown INSULATED WINTER BOOT 200GRAM SNOW SIZE , Nike Zoom Rival Waffle Women Track Shoe Platinum/Clear Jade/Solar Red 904719RARE 2013 Nike Air max 90 Sneakers Women Size 10 - Metallic Brown Navy Gum USED , Infinity Footwear Women's Slip Resistant Rubber Step In Leather Footwear. GLIDEASICS Women's GEL-Contend 4 Wide Running Shoes in Grey with Aqua Sizes 5 to 12 , $105 Puma Women Basket Strap Exotic blue halogen blue 362707-04 , New Balance Women's 574 Core Shoes Purple with Grey , Adidas Originals MC-X 1 Mid Trainers Women's Size 7 New RARE , Women's New Balance Shoes WRT300GA 300 Sneakers Size 7 New , Women's Skechers GO WALK 4 PURSUIT Slip On Walking Shoes Sneakers Taupe Size 7NIKE Trequartista III 3 FG Grey Dk Blue Pink Soccer Cleats Boots NEW Womens 6.5Nike Flex Supreme TR 5 Woman Size 7.5 Black/WhiteNike Air Jordan Son of Mars GS 6.5Y Womens 8.5 Platinum Green Abyss 512242-016NEW VASQUE WOMENS 7803 SZ 7 POW POW INSULATED WINTER BOOT 400 GRAM SNOW SIZE , Womens NIKE ZOOM WINFLO 3 Running Trainers 831562004 , $240 SCHUTZ AILA Gold Double Buckle Crinkle Leather Designer Sneakers 7 , Womens New Balance WL411NV Shoes 411 New Size 7Brooks Women's Running Shoes Adrenaline GTS 6 White/Gray/Silver Size 6 2A - NIB ,

“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.

Clarks Collection Womens Button Flats Loafers Brown Leather Moccasin 7 NWOT , Cole Haan Women's Shoes 7 AA Narrow City Soft Leather Flats Slip On LoaferWomen's Shoes Sanuk Donna Hemp Casual Sidewalk Surfers 1094449 Burgundy *New*Via Spiga, Galea, Black, Woman's 8.5 , Ballerines Pointues ATRAI Cuir Noir T 37 TBE , SAS Tripad Comfort Foot-bed Loafer Women Size 9 N Black Leather Slip On Narrow , NEW Zara Women's Leather Moccasin Loafers with Fringe in Cognac Tan, US 38/ 7.5 , Eastland Syracuse Monk Strap Leather Loafers Cushioned Shoes Women's Size 9.5W , Womens Air Max 2011 Running Shoes Size 6.5Womens Nike Flex Experience RN 3 running shoes size 9.5 royal blue exclnt condtn , ARRAY Womens addie Leather Closed Toe Loafers, Taupe, Size 6.5 LuZpSKECHERS WORK Women's Aluminum Toe Steel Plate Work Shoe Black/Blue Size 8MWomen Nike Pink Lunarlon Sneakers Size 7 Running Shoe Sport , Reebok Classic RB 612 HSV Atheltic Suede Sneakers Beige Purple sz 9 US 6-158353Saucony Mens Eclipse TR3 Running Trail shoes Sneakers Sz 10.5 Wide H322Women's SKECHERS Sport Athletic Shoes SN 1746 Blue/Silver/White Size 8.5 USED , Hoka One One Conquest 3 Running Shoes Womens Size 11 Gray Blue Athletic SneakersLL BEAN Women’s 7.5M Shoes 05330 Leather Suede Black Trails Walking Hiking , NIKE WOMEN'S FREE RN FLYKNKIT SHOES SIZE 11 black white 831070 001Scott Palani SPT Road Running Shoes Womens Size 7.5/ Green , ECCO Womens Bluma Summer Sneaker,Black,40 EU/9-9.5 M USNike Air Max Thea SE Running Shoes Metallic Silver White 861674-001 Women's NWOB , VANS Sk8 Hi Slim (Leather/Canvas) Parisian Navy Skate Shoes WOMEN'S 9Vionic 44BELLAII-TRT : Bella Womens Orthotic Thong Sandals TortoiseEcco Women's Driving Athletic Casual Shoe US 8/8.5 White Pink 5 Strap , Converse Chuck Taylor Gel Hi High-Top Canvas Sneaker Raspberry Size US 8 , NEW! Asics Women's T757N GT 2000 Gray/Silver/Navy/Pink 7.5 M 101D pa , Reebok memorytech Premier comfort SOUTHRANGE RUN L m44434 Size 6.5New Balance Shoes Size 7 Pre ownedKenneth Cole Kingwood High-Top Sneakers 163, Desert, 8 US / 39 EU ,

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

CONVERSE TAYLOR CHUCK TAYLOR AS HI "SOLAR".. MULTI-COLOR.. MULTI-COLOR.. FAST SHIPPING 26492! a796d8f - 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

CONVERSE TAYLOR CHUCK TAYLOR AS HI "SOLAR".. MULTI-COLOR.. MULTI-COLOR.. FAST SHIPPING 26492! a796d8f

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.