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
NIKE Women’s HyperDunk 2015 Team Basketball Shoe Royal/Blue/White/Silver Size 9Skechers Shape-Ups Blue White Sneakers Toning Rocker Silver Women's Shoe Size 8 , NWT TED BAKER VLEIL CITRUS BLOOM FLORAL PRINT PINK ROSES HIGH TOP SNEAKER 7 $150 , Asics Gel-Extreme 33 Black white Ultra Violet New sz 6 , Merrell Select Fresh Coriander Mary Janes Size 5.5 Womens Brown Sport Shoes , Nike WMNS Free 4.0 V2 Sports Running Shoes Violet Electric Green Sz 9 511527-53 , Women's ALTRA HiiT XT Training Shoe InnerFlex PowerSole ~ Size 8.5 Black Purple , New Balance WX797PP3 Cross Training Shoe Grey / Orange NEW !Reebok Women's Crossfit Sprint TR Training Shoe Light Green Size 8.5 M45040JENNIE BY DR SCHOLL'S WOMENS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY SNEAKERS IN BLACK SIZE 6 EUC , Reebok Women's Easy Tone Smooth Fit Athletic Running Shoes Silver & Blue Sz 6.5 , Vintage L.A. Gear Womens Sneakers Size 7.5 Brown Shoes Retro 80s 90s Athletic , Piero Guidi Magic Circus Black Suede Sneakers SIZE US (see measurements)Nike Women's SZ 5.5 Roshe One Hi Sneakerboot AUTHENTIC Black/Grey 807424-001PUMA Women's Basket Platform VR Sneaker Olive Night/Olive Night Velvet Rope 6.5New Balance Womens Running Shoes Size 9 (8392) , New PUMA Womens Rbr Rider TotalEclipse-chine Walking Shoes Size 5New Balance Womens Walking Shoes Size 9 (10014)Easy Spirit Womens TRAVELTIME Low Top Slip On, Navy/White Suede, Size 9.0 , Skechers Skech Air 2.0 9.5 M Clear Day Athletic Shoes Black Pink Gel InfusedSAUCONY Women's Grid Cohesion 3 -Silver/Grey/Plum- Running ShoeWomen's Skechers EZ FLEX 3.0 SONGFUL 23435/BRN Brown Brand New , Steve Madden Fiasco Beaded Animal Design Slip-On Platform Sneaker Size 9 MNew Women's Skechers 12753 Flex Appeal 2.0 Sporty Training Shoes Size 7 (L26) , New!! Womens Skechers Relaxed Fit SPECTRUM SHOWY Slip-Ons Black 22541 C11 , Skechers Double Up Shiny Dancer Women’s Sz 8.5 Silver Slip On Shoes F5-299Skechers Shape Ups Womens Model 11809 Suede Navy White Athletic Shoes Size 7.5 , VIBRAM Fivefingers 13W0606 CVT LS Red/White Barefoot Running Shoe Sandal 37Women's New Balance 696v2 B Width Preowned Shoe Size 6

“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.

Donald Pliner Brown Leather Sandal Flat 6M ONE SINGLE RIGHT SHOE AMPUTEECoolers Premier Ladies Leather Sandal Pink / Summer Shoes/ Holiday Beach , Cato Multi-Color SHOES WOMEN'S SIZE 9 MMinnetonka Women's Black Suede Faux Fur Moccasin Boat Shoe Loafers US Size 6Valleverde Italy Ladies Leather Snake Loafers "Sara F" , TROTTERS Womens LANDRY Black Veg Leather Ballet Flat Wedge US 7.5 SRobert Robert Designer Shoes Green Loafers Leather Moccasins fringe Size 37CHAUSSURE SANDALE PLATE LE TEMPS DES CERISES NEUF CUIR T 39 SHOES/ZAPATO/SCARPA , NEW JAMBU CALLI CLASSIC Women's WALKING SHOES CLOGS BOOTIES Brown Sz 7 ORIG $128FABIO RUSCONI Shoes 753753 Pink 7 , AB68 WOMEN'S SHOES 37 Loafers ballet flats ALDO BRUè BEIGE 100% LEATHER , NINE WEST Womens Brown Leather Low Heel Slip On Loafers COW HIDE TOE sz 7MWorn Once Abeo Aero,Alcor white/lime womens walking shoes sz 8.5 , Chic By Lady Couture Clear/Gold Faux Leather Peep Toe Dressy Flats Sz 40/9M NWOBFranco Sarto Womens Burgundy Maroon Mary Jane Pointed Strappy Flats Size 7**Skechers Go Walk 4 Pursuit Casual Slip On Shoes - Women's Size 9.5 - Black , Mizuno Wave Inspire 9 Women's 11 WIDE Blue/Green Athletic Running Workout ShoesFashion Women's Athletic Shoes Mixed Color Round Toe Running Sneakers BreathableVans Originals T375 Blue Textile Slip On Shoes Women’s Size 8.5 Men’s Size 7Mizuno Wave Inspire 11 Womens Size 6 White Purple Green Running ShoesConverse Jack Purcell Signature Black Canvas Low top Ox Sneaker Women's size 9 , New Balance Women's W1500v3 Running Shoe Alpha Porcelain SZ 6.5 M PRE OWNED 7557 , SKECHERS SKECH KNIT RUNNING SHOES / MULTI COLOR ( SIZE 6 ) WOMEN’S , Women's Puma Suede Classic Lo Winterized Crazy Price Athletic ShoesNike Air Huarache Ultra Run Womens Sport Sandals Grey/Yellow/White NEW Size 7 , MIHARA YASUHIRO Shoes 446294 Purple 25cm , Nike Women's Air Huarache Run SE Shoes (859429-004) 7 Light Bone/Gum YellowWMNS NIKE CLASSIC CORTEZ NYLON 749864 310 GHOST GREEN/WHITE - NYLON/SUEDE/MESHNWT ASICS Gel Scram Trail Running Sneaker, T59AQ, Blue Silver Size 8.5Skechers Women Burst-Divergent 12730/Gry W/Air Cooled Memory Foam 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

Brooks Ghost 6 Running 8 Shoes Women Women Size Running 8 Great Condition 1f6863a - 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

Brooks Ghost 6 Running 8 Shoes Women Women Size Running 8 Great Condition 1f6863a

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.