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 Puma Shoes US 4,CM 22, /2City Sneaks Tennis Shoes Canvas Sneakers Zig Zag Black White Womens Size 10Skechers 21747 Womens INTUITION Shoes BROWN LEATHER Sz 6.5 EUC , Women's New Balance SD607SP Silver Spike Sport Track Racing Running Shoes Sz 11NEW BALANCE Silver Fabric/Leather Athletic Women's Shoes Size 8.5M On SaleWomens Training Nike White Tennis Shoes Sz 8 GUC!Woman Cross Straps Shellfish Head Casual Shoes Lazy Wear Flat Shoes SneakersNike Reax Run 8 Shox Size 9Zoo York Women's Black/Pink Graffiti Athletic Loafers Shoes Size 10NIKE H20 REPEL IN SEASON TR 2 women's running shoes gray & green SIZE 9.5 , A ATHLETICS BRAND WOMEN'S SPORT ATHLETIC SHOES GRAY PURPLE SIZE US 9 , Flossy Santona Women's Classic Casual Summer Slip-On Espadrilles PlimsolsNike Air Mogan Mid 2 Women's 7 Low Top Sneakers Sneakers Gray Orange 407479-364 , Women’s NIKE FLEX EXPERIENCE Rn Black Shoes - US Size 6.5 , Women's Fashion Running Sneakers Casual Athletic Breathable Walk Sports Shoes USFashion Womens Sport Shoes Casual Breathable Sneakers Running Athletic Shoes , ADIDAS TRAIL WOMENS GRAY PURPLE 9.5 EUC SUPERCLEAN RUNNERS see pics-detailsKeds Double Decker Women's Washed Leather Sneaker 9M , Womens Size 7.5 Nike Natural Pride Running ShoePro Keds White Canvas Volcanized Shoes Women’s Size US 9.5,Cheeks Air Trac Trainer Athletic Shoes, Black/Silver, 7 US Used , SKECHERS Go Walk 3 Slip On Casual Shoes, Black/White, Womens US 7 , Womens Wedge Heel Festival Fashion Platform Summer Casual Chic TrainersU.S. Polo Assn. Mona Cross Strap Slip On Sneakers 010, Black Multi, 8.5 USGotta Flurt Women's Rippy - Black - Fashion Sneakers - Sz: 9Nike Flex Run Womens Running Shoe Black 8Nike Walking Shoes White Leather Women8.5Medium (B, M)Fila "Talon 3" 5SR20061-159 Women's White Leather Athletic Sneakers 41.5/10 M , Nike Air Max Running Shoes Black Synthetic Women5Medium (B, M) ,

“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.

Women's CHEROKEE Black Loafers Size 5 , Easy Spirit e360 Yandra Women US 8.5 Silver Metallic Ballet Flats 1876 , NEW DUNLOP STREAMLINE WOMENS COMFORTABLE SLIP ON CASUAL SHOESCole Haan Womens Brown Sandals Size 9 BUCPIKOLINOS CHESTNUT LEATHER FLATS, SIZE 8 ½ , EXCELLENT, 25% OFFNew Blowfish Malibu Marley Canvas Slip On Sneakers, Womens Size 6.5. Steel GreyNEW Women's Soft Spots Constance White Leather Casual Slip on Comfort ShoeCOLE HAAN Womens Sz 5.5 Air Maggy Purple Suede Ballet Flats NEWBlack White Day of the Dead Bones Dia de los Muertos Skeleton Halloween BalletsDansko Womens Size 41 US 10.5/11 Volley Canvas Vegan Clogs work slip on shoesPuma Suede Heart Satin,White,Black Womens Sneakers , Womens Saucony Liberate Running, Cross Training shoes size 7 , SKECHERS Performance You Slip On - Women's Size 8 - BlueWOMEN'S BROOKS ADRENALINE GTS 16 SNEAKERS SIZE 10 M SHOES , Reebok Womens Easytone Comfort Walking Toning Smoothfit Shoes Sz 8 - EUCSteven Natural Comfort Napa Leather Sneaker Mesh Padded Silver 6M NEW 525-122 , Merrell Barrado Performance Black Mesh Canvas Athletic Shoe Womens Sz 8 Zip UpNike Air Max Invigor Womens Size 6.5 White/Silver Athletics Running Shoes F2-809Skechers GO Walk Joy Slip-on Shoes Radiant Light Green 8.5M NEW A302183**New Balance Fresh Foam Crush Shoes - Women's Size 9D - White DAMAGED , Puma Sky II High Art No. 349206 01 Womens Sz 6 Suede Leather Multicolor , Women's Alfani Aleaa Women Ballet Flat Beautiful Design FlatsWomen's GAP Rainbow Flats 8M NEW Various Styles Flats , NIKE WOMENS LUNARSTELOS RUNNING SHOES BLACK/WHITE [844736 001]New Womens TEAM COLOR BASKETBALL SHOES Womens SZ 9.5 - Fits 9.5-10 , Women's Nike Classic Cortez SE 902856-202 Casual Shoes Particle Beige Size 7 , NIKE Son Of Force Mid | Women Sneakers | Grey | Size 7.5US | 616281-015NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC Lifestyle Women sneakers (9.5M, Leopard)Nike Air Max Invigor Mid Shoe Port Wine/Black/Platinum 861661-601 , Skechers Women's Premium - Seeing Double White/Blue Casual Shoe 7.5 Women 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

H Women's Sneakers Flats Athletic Women's Athletic Mesh Breathable Platform Sport 26093 Casual Shoes 0f14d42 -

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

H Women's Sneakers Flats Athletic Women's Athletic Mesh Breathable Platform Sport 26093 Casual Shoes 0f14d42

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.