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
Saucony sz 11M 42 Ride 6 blue white orange running womens ladies tennis sneakersNEW BALANCE W575LP1 WOMEN'S GREY/PINK RUNNING SHOES SIZE 7REEBOK Sz 7 Womens YourFlex White, Pink & Neon Green Athletic Shoes / SneakersSaucony Women Athletic Shoes Triumph Iso 3 Running ShoesNew Balance 650 SHOES WOMENS SIZE 9 1/2 BRYKA WOMEN'S TRAVAIL FISHERMAN SHOES WITH LEATHER AND MESH IN NAVY AND PINK 7.5MWomen's Shoes; Via Spiga; Size 8 1/2; Black , Asics Gel EQUATION 4 Women's Training Running Shoes Sneakers Size US11 EUR43.5Crossfit Reebok Womens Athletic Sneaker Shoe FLU Size 7 Gray Black Leather MeshNew Balance Womens Wl410pk Pink/White Running Shoes Size 8.5 (312360)PUMA CELL RUNNING Mesh White Gray Womens Size 8.5ASICS GEL ENDURO 5 WOMEN'S ATHLETIC RUNNING SHOES SIZE 10 GRAY PINK BLACK T9C9NAnne Klein Zasa Slide Fashion Sneakers 980, White Multi, 7.5 US , Nike Womens Free Fit 2 Training Shoe Size 7.5 Running Sneakers Gray Blue White , Skechers Shape Ups Shoes Sz 7.5 Women Toning Fitness Exercise Walk Sneaker 12320Women's 7.5 M Sperry Top Sider Khaki Plaid Fold Down Canvas High Tops , Saucony Ride 7 Running Shoes Green Citron Women's Size 7.5 , Womens ASICS Cumulus running shoes Sz 10 sneakers gym sports athletic 5k 10k , MERRELL Lithe Glove Pink Sz 7.5 Trail Barefoot Running ShoesSkechers Size 6.5 Womens Black Kiss HAPPY MOMENT Stretch Fit Comfort Nurses ShoeRYKA Stryde Walk Shoes Women Size 9.5 , Merrell Blue Suede Casual Moc Toe Driving Boat Walking Trail Shoes Women's 6 , LOWA S-CROWN GTX Gore Tex Running Trail Training SZ 7 Womens Great Shape!!VANS OFF THE WALL ATHLETIC SHOES / MULTI COLOR ( SIZE 5 ) WOMEN’S , New Balance Gray silver 573 All Terrain Trail Running Shoes Women's 8.5 B USWomen's SKECHERS Sport Athletic Shoes SN 1746 Blue/Silver/White Size 8.5 USED , NEW Womens 11 ADIDAS SPRINT STAR 4 Track & Field Spikes w/Wrench & Spikes BlackSaucony Omni 12 Womens Running Shoes 7.5 Gray Purple sneakers 7 1/2 powergridSimple Brand Sz 9.5 M Tan Brown Suede Leather Comfort Walking Shoes Sneakers ,

“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.

Naturalizer Womens Beige Canvas Sneaker Shoe NWOB - Size 11M*UNWORN* womens size 7m SKECHERS ORIGINAL BIKERS PEEP TOE BALLET FLATSConverse Camouflage Taille 36 Soit 3,5SPERRY TOP-SIDER Plaid Boat Shoes 9771569 Womens Size 9M , Cole Haan Nude Beige Fur Loafer Womens Size 6 B Slip On Moc Toe Shoe Italy f5993 , Munro American Brown Leather Stretch Loafer Bootie Heel Pumps Shoes Womens 9.5 MIGI&CO ZENIT CASTORO SNEAKERS sale 15801Reebok - SLIMTONE - 2 tone gray & pink Women's Tennis Shoes Size 10 , New Womens Casual Round Toe Flats Oxfords Hollow Out Buckle Strap Shoes SzSperry Top-Sider Women's A/O 2-Eye Boat Shoes Brwn Sahara 9155240 Size 9 1/2MGINO VENTORI - CHAUSSURES PETITS TALONS SCRATCH GRIS NOIR 36 37 40 NEUF & BOITEWomen's Eastland Suede Clogs Mules Sandals Southwestern Size 9M WORN ONCE!KIRRILY JOHNSTON sz 7 womens Leather sandals / shoes RRP$300+ , Keen 100% vulcanized footwear 7.5 Gray Canvas , RALPH LAUREN SLIPPERS MEN'S 11 NEW SUEDETTE NWOT A102NEW Women's Skechers Relaxed Fit Bikers Pedestrian Casual Shoes 48930 Black 51PRyka Pria Running Shoe Womens Size 8M Coral , A682 Nike Women's Air Zoom Structure 20 Shield Sneakers 849582-001 Size 12 NEW , NEW Women's GRASSHOPPERS JUNIPER BLACK Loafers Casual EF52803 Shoes SZ 7 , NorthFace Women's Single Track II Running Shoe Turquoise/Blue Size 5.5 Brand NEW , Asics Women's Gel-Kayano 23 Running Shoe - Women's Size 12, Black/Pink Glow , New Nike Tanjun Racer Running Women Size 6 Grey Sail Black White Shoe 921668 003Brand New Women's Nike Roshe One Moire Bright Crimson/White Size 6.5 |819961-661 , Dickies Shoes Women's Nursing Shoes Work shoes slip resistant BREAKTIME BlackWmns Nike Roshe Two SE 2 Gold Pink Women Running Shoes Rosherun 881188-700US Shoe Size Women Fashion Walking Sneakers Lightweight Athletic Tennis RunningWmns Nike Blazer Size 8 Gold Golf Spikeless Shoes (818730 700) , PUMA women Leadcat Logo Athletic Slide Sandals Leather Copper Rose, White 8.5 MInov-8 Bare-XF 210 Unisex Cross-Training Shoe Black/Grey/White 3.5 W UKAsics Gel-Exalt Women Blue & White Walking Sneakers Size 10-M ,

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

Bucketfeet Women's White Canvas Slip 25640 On On kelvinsi-25642 Sneakers - Size 10 0ae52cb -

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

Bucketfeet Women's White Canvas Slip 25640 On On kelvinsi-25642 Sneakers - Size 10 0ae52cb

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.