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
DARK BROWN MERRELL PLAZA BANDEAU CHERRY OAK MARY JANE LOAFERS 8.5 SHOES WOMAN’SNWOB AMERICAN EAGLE WOMEN BALLET FLATS SZ 6.5 FABRIC DECO BOW FRONT CERISESesto Meucci Shoes Women 7 N Red Leather Moccasins Slip On Flats Tassel ComfortSlip-on Shoes Woman Sz 6.5 Open Toe FIONI Light Beige Block Heel Man Made , WHITE MOUNTAIN Black Suede LOAFER SHOES with Leather Backs; Slip-On; Bows 7M , Keds shoes Women's size 8 1/2 White New without tags , Ballet Flats Black Bow Round Toe Scrunch Rubi Leather Look Neutral Soft Pump 37HPLA Womens Shoes Sz 7.5 M US Red Slipons Casual Dress Flats Loafers Lara , Breckelles Women's Alice-62 Faux Suede Round Toe Bowed Ballet Flat , SPERRY TOP-SIDER Black White Floral Sequin Shoes Size 5.5 M , LADIES SPOT ON SLIP ON YELLOW/GREEN PALM TREES CANVAS SHOES STYLE - F80086 , Christian Siriano For Payless Black Slingbacks Flats Womens Shoes Size 6.5/37Ladies Loafers by Lands End, Size 7B, Black Leather,EXCD , WOW! KEEN brown nubuck leather bumper toe slip on sport walking clogs 6 36Women's TAHARI 'Caroline' Black Leather Cap Toe Flats Sz 7M , G.H.Bass & Co. Weejuns Brown Leather Slip On Women's Helen Loafers SZ 8MWomen Lands End Mary Jane Shoes Tan Suede Leather Size 6.5 Casual ComfortTrotters Black Woven Leather Walking Comfort Sling BackShoes Wm 7 NAntonio Bossi Womens Shoes Sz 6.5 M US Pink Flats Slipons Dress Casual Loafers , Ladies Spot On Leather Mocassin Loafer Slip On Shoes F8876 , Rajasthani Handmade Tassel Women's Ethnic Stylish Mojari Flat Sandals BellyBEAR TRAPS 'Coupe' Brown Leather Buckle Strap Mules 6M MINTRajasthani Handmade Tassel Women's Ethnic Stylish Mojari Flat Sandals Sleepers , MERRELL " Plaza Bandeau" Womans size 6.5 slip on shoes , LADIES CROCS LAVENDER/ULTRAVIOLET SLIP ON CASUAL FLAT SHOES STYLE - CARLIE FLAT , American Rag Cie Size 5.5 *New* Brown Closed Toe Slip On Flat Loafer Shoes , Womens Wedge Heel Sandal Summer Jelly Beach Diamante Toe Post Flip Flops US 5-11Womens Peep Toe Festival Sling Back Flip Flops Slides Flatform Sandals US 5-11 , Ladies Ankle Strap Jelly Gladiator Peep Toe Cut Out Festival Sandals All Sizes ,

“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.

Birkenstock Boston Womens 38 (7US) Clogs Light Tan Suede Soft Footbed GUCBella Vita Womens Shoes Size 7 Pewter Gray Metallic Leather Ballet Flats , Bjorndal � Harvard Womens Size 7 Brown Suede Leather Buckle Mule Clogs Sandals , Orange PETER KENT Bow Italy Suede Hidden Wedge Ballet Flats Womens EURO 38 (7.5) , Lot Sanuk Shoes Womens size 6 7 Green Multi Color Flats Flat Slip On , Twiggy London Blue Leopard & Orange Bow Ballet Flats NEW , SAS Pebbled Blue Leather Kiltie Tripad Comfort Moccasins Loafers Women's Sz. 5M , VINCE CAMUTO, Women boots, Gray, Size 7B/37 , TUK Viva Low Creepers White Black Hipster Swing Shoes Mens 5 Women Size 7 , Halogen By Nordstrom Black Leather Emily Moccasins Womens Size US 9.5M , Steve Madden Womens Sanderson Round Toe Dress Loafer Mule Shoes BHFO 1456 , Newalk Oz. 3 Eva 45 M 12 EvaSkechers Women's Reggae Fest-Dory Fashion Sneaker8 M USBlack , BOBS from Skechers Womens Pureflex Prima Ballet Flat- Select SZ/Color.BASS DAWSON-D COGNAC 922320 LOAFERS SIZE 6MVince Camuto Kayleena Tassled Shoe - Women's Size 7M - Brown , Rockport Women's Red Leather Flats 8 WFree Shipping Fashion Women's / Men's Casual Sports Shoes Sneakers Running Shoes , New Women's Skechers Burst Fresh Thinking 12790 Athletic Shoes BKCC 51S pc , ** Ryka Henley Fabric Slip On Sneakers, Women's Size 5 M, Teal/Pink NEW , NIB Avia Womens Running Walking Shoes White Different Color Inserts 7, 7.5, 10 , Asics Gel Noosa Tri 9 Running Triathlon Shoes Multi Color C401N Womens Sz 6 A2Mizuno Women's 9-Spike Advanced Sweep 2 Fastpitch Cleat, White/White , I35 Sapphira Slip On Sneakers 792, Bright White, 7.5 US , Merrell Moab FST Hiking Shoes J37176 Granite Women's Size 8 , Keen Aphlex Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot - Women's Size 5.5, Plum/SharkNew Balance Women's 420v1 Lifestyle Sneaker - Choose SZ/ColorEasy Spirit Earthen Walking Shoes - Women's Size 8W BlueEasy Spirit Traveltime234 Black/Black Leather Womens Mule Size 9NBalance Women's WRL247HK, Chocolate, 8.5 B US ,

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

sami-27 Slip Shoes On On Casual Party Flats Office Winter Warn Office Women's Shoes Grey 6.5^ a960fa8 - 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

sami-27 Slip Shoes On On Casual Party Flats Office Winter Warn Office Women's Shoes Grey 6.5^ a960fa8

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.