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
Brand New Authentic Birkenstock Gizeh BS - Black - Women's size 9Zoot Women's Ultra Kane 3.0 Running Shoe, size 6, new with box , Vintage Adidas Adipromed Stabil Ankle Support Orthopedic Leather BootsSkechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 - Passports Taupe Loafers & Slip-Ons Shoe 7.5REEBOK DMX ROADGLIDER women's sneakers 9 1/2 mediumUnder Armour Women's UA Charged Stunner Black/Aluminum/Metallic Pewter 7.5 B - , LUCAYA KHAKI MESH LARSP65 Women's Shoes Size 7 Nubuc Leather and Mesh Mephisto , New Balance Women's 311 Lifestyle Fashion SneakerRockport Women's Franklin Three Strap Sport Sandal, Sand, Size 8.5 mwGo , Brooks Pure Flow 6 Running Shoes Women's Size US 9 Black 1202371B002Steve Madden Womens Fiasco Beaded Slip On Sneaker Shoes Size 6Mizuno Wave Hitogami 4 Sneaker - Women's Size 8.5 Orange/BlackFILA MEMORY IMPRINT 2 WOMENS GRAY/PINK/WHITE WALKING SHOES VARIOUS SIZES NEWwomens blue KEEN versatrail hiking shoes athletic outdoor sport stretch 11 M , Nike Women Clean Jade/Black Air Huarache Run Mid Leather Shoes NWOB Size US 8.5 , New Balance 574 Women's Silver Mink/Silver Mink 574SYANIB - NEW BALANCE Women's 'WX409WL2' White ATHLETIC SHOES - 8 / 39*h2o REPEL* NIKE FREE XT MOTION FIT Women 6.5 trainer training running run trail , Keen- Oakridge Athletic Shoes, Women's Size 9.5, GreyALDO Women's Merane-n Sneaker, - Choose SZ/ColorNike W Air Force 1 07 Mid Seasonal Casual Womens Shoes Black NWOB 818596-003 , NINE WEST (LEANDRO OFF WHITE SNEAKER ) WOMENS SIZE 7.5 DISPLAY MODEL!!!!Womens Brooks Pink Cascadia 11 GTX Athletic Running Training Shoes Size 6.5 , Women's Asics Gel Kayano 15 T950N running shoes sneakers White Blue Green Sz 7 , FESTIVAL BLACK LARSP65 Women's Shoes Size 7 Leather and Fabric Casual Mephisto , Saucony Jazz Vintage Women's Cement/Tan S6036826 , Reebok Womens Skeakers Shoes White Purple Slide Slip On Classic Vintage 80s 90sKenneth Cole New York Ashlee Suede Sneaker, 7Merrell Flashback Coral Outdoor Hiking Shoes Dual Strap Convertible Leather 7.5

“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.

Liz and Co Ladies Tassel Loafer Slip on Moc Flat Snake Skin Look Shoes Sz 6Clarks brown open back slip ons with 2" heel - womens 7.5 MALIGN womens 10.5 White Leather Fashion Sneaker Posture Balance Shoes , SC35 Blidge Dress Ballet Flats 508, Black, 7 USA2 by Aerosoles "Tokyo" Brown Leather Slip On Loafers Size 7.5 B , Tommy Hilfiger Womens Frank3 Leather Closed Toe Mules, White, Size 6.0 , Women Woven Flat Breathable Shallow Mouth Lazy Slip Resistant Leisure Sport ShoeBrinley Co Womens Vika Closed Toe Ballet Flats, Pewter, Size 11.0 , Klogs Reese Women's Slip On Leather Shoes Display Model Micro Puff 7.5 MMarina Kitten Heel Bronze Cracked Metallic Leather 6 M , Vince Camuto Women's ELROY2 Natural/Black Calf Suede 7.5 M USNIB Sofft Mytalini Copper Leather Comfort Flats w/Buckle Detail Size 6.5M , Nike Flex Experience RN 5 White Wolf Grey 844729-100 Women's Size 9 , naturalizer Sarah Pointed Toe Ballet Flats 890, Black, 8 US / 38 EUFlat G by GUESS Finland Rose Gold FabricTrotters Red Woven Leather Square Toe Loafers 7MSkechers Women's Air Cooled Memory Foam Slip On Athletic Shoes Sz 5.5 M D7939 , 2018 Women Fashion Cat Animal Shoes Mesh Breathable Running Trainers SneakerNIKE ZOOM PEGASUS 32 Women's Pink/Black/Green Running Shoes Size 11.5Women's Supra Womens Cuba Sneaker Clearance Price Athletic Shoes , Women's Vince Camuto Cariana Leather Sneaker Elegant And Sturdy Package Athletic Shoes , adidas Superstar Glossy Toe Easy Mint/Turquoise Sneakers (BB0529) Size 8 , Saucony Women's Fall 2017 Triumph ISO 3 Grey/Purple Size 8 US (N2,11)Nike Core Motion TR 2 Black Mesh Running Training Sneakers Shoes Womens 9.5 , Puma The Trainer Hi by Fenty Whisper Off White Womens US Size 8.5Pony Women's City Wings Cosmo Mid Shoes ( White/ White/ Pink) Size 9.5 , NIKE FREE RN CMTR 2017 WOMEN`S SHOES TRAINING RUNNING SNEAKERS NEWClarks Bendables Shoes Brown Leather Loafer Pumps Womens Size 9M , Womens Nike Power Channel Softball Black/Pink Cleats Size 8.5 - New , Rialto Women's Gemma T-Strap Sandal White Smooth Polyurethane Sandals ,

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

DC 2 Shoes Manteca 2 Mid SE Green US8 Blue Sneakers Skateboarding Skater Sneakers Size US8 EU39 cfc464d -

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

DC 2 Shoes Manteca 2 Mid SE Green US8 Blue Sneakers Skateboarding Skater Sneakers Size US8 EU39 cfc464d

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.