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
$148 AERIN NEWPORT Taupe Patent Perforated Designer Cut Out Sneakers 8 Run BIG , Reebok Zig Lite Rush Mens Running Shoe M43565 023501 Sz. 13 , Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit Women's Running shoes 843765 301 Size 6Women Adidas CQ1064 Adiease Running shoes white blue sneakers , Nike Lunarglide 9 Women's Running Shoe 904716 601 Size 10.5 , NEW BALANCE 813 Shoes Athletic Walking Control Womens Sz 8.5 xwide WW813WT , Nike WMNS Air Force 1 Hi PRM - 654440 005 , Women Reebok CN0417 Print Run DIST Running shoes black grey sneakersMerrell Around Town City Slip On Air Women's Size 7 Pine Bark25%OFFAdidas Stan Smith W Womens AQ6806 Frog Green Womens Size 9ADIDAS WOMENS TUBULAR SHADOW BLACK/GREY/WHITE BY2121Skechers Women's Equalizer Say Something Slip On Sneaker 6.5 M , NIKE Womens Sz 8.5 Athletic Sneakers Running Shoes White Mesh Fabric Leather , NEW Nike Sail/Lt Orewood Court Borough Mid Premium Trainers Ladies Size 10R , Converse X John Varvatos CTAS Side Zip Painted White Hi Sneaker Women 6 men 4 , Nike LunarTempo Women's Running Shoes Size US 6.5 Bright Citrus Black White , PONY SHOOTER '78 HIGH CHEVRON SNEAKERS WOMEN SHOES MIX 1781 SIZE 7 NEW , Nike FS LiteRun 3 Women's Running Shoe 807145 011 Size 8 , WMNS NIKE AIR FORCE 1 FLYKNIT ENAMEL GREEN/ENAMEL GREEN 818018 301 NO BOX SZ:8 , 2011 Womens Nike Shox Turbo+ 12 Black/Silver Running Shoes! Size 7 $120.00 , Women's Adidas BARRICADE TEAM 2 XJ JR White G63279 Size 40 EU (Women's 9 US) , NIKE WMNS PRESTO FLY 910569-202 SAND WHITE?% Nike In-Season TR 6 Cross Training Run Pink Black 852470-600 Women's Sz 7.5 , New Balance WX857WB2 Womens 857v2 Casual White Training Sneakers Shoes 8.5Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit Women's Running shoes 843765 301 Size 8 , Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 Women's Running Shoe 748589 800 Size 12Asics Gel 190 TR Athletic Running Walking Shoes S571N 0146 For Women Size 12 , Salomon XA Comp 7 Women's Grey/Blue CS WP Shoe 10.5M , SPRING COURT Women's B2 Punch Fluo Yellow/White Leather Sneakers Shoes US 6 / 37 ,

“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.

Betty Boop Sz 9 Ballet Flats Shoes Orange Red Slippers Cartoon Character De Doop , Andre Assous Women Size 7 M Brown Suede Loafer Shoes Career Fall Spain leather , DR. Martens Vintage Brown Women's Shoes Size 10US/8UK , VALLEY LANE BONNIE BLACK VIOLET HEELS SLIDES WEDGE HEEL SIZE 7.5 M NWB , SAS Women's Brown Leather Shoes US 6.5 MEarth Origins Natalie Ballet Flats Women Size 7.5 Brown Leather Embroidered Shoe , Mercanti Fiorentini Women's 9M Leather Penny Loafer Driving Moc Camel Tan , GENNY Vintage Black PASSAMENTERIE BALLERINA Flat Shoes SIZE 38 1/2 , Romika Green Gray Mary Janes Womens Sz 9.5 M Textured LeatherOdette e Odile Shoes 659864 Pink 22cmSteve Madden Lynn Women's Size 9M Grey Velvet Pearl Studs Zip Front Sneakers New , B35 Opal Slip On Loafer Flats, Natural, 8 US DisplayDG2 Diane Gilman Star Spangled Sneaker Classic lacing gel WHITE 10M NEW 535-488Sperry Top Sider Graphite memory foam Women sts97513 size 5 m , Women Leather Square Toe Slip On Rivet Low Heel Buckle Decor Shoes Loafer Retro , Tommy Hilfiger Terzo Fringe Loafers 940, Black Multi, 8.5 US , New! Skechers 12508 Women's Flex Appeal Trainers Charcoal/Pink/Neon Green I11 , Mi Adidas Gazelle Ladies Sneakers Size 10.5 Turquoise Blue Athletic Shoes In Box , Ladies Nike Free Run Black w/ White Swoosh Size 8 Good ConditionNike Wmns Air Force 1 07 ESS AF1 Triple White Women Shoes Sneakers AO2132-100 , NEW Womens Size 7 NEW BALANCE 689 GR Grey Red Trail Running Sneakers Shoes , NEW NIKE SHOX WOMEN RUNING SHOES US M M WHITE LEATHER MADE IN VIET , Adidas Tucana Packaway Women Trainers in Blue D66475 []Nike Women's Court Royale Shoe Black/ White (749867 010) , DC Women's Villain Shoe - Cream - New , Nike Max Air 180 Rare Vintage Airmax Revolution Lime History of Air 2005 6.5A439 Nike Women's Air Max Kantara 908992-006 Size 11 NEWConverse All Star Chuck Taylor Canvas Original Hi and Low Men Women Shoes *NOBOX , Sketchers Shape Ups Size 6 Womens Clean Blue White GrayAvia RISE - Black - Womens

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

FRYE kelvinsi-26461 Womens Lola perf slide Open Casual 26462 Toe Casual Slide Sandals, Black, Size 8.5 4b75e14 - 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

FRYE kelvinsi-26461 Womens Lola perf slide Open Casual 26462 Toe Casual Slide Sandals, Black, Size 8.5 4b75e14

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.