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
Men's Puma Roma Sneakers Size 9 , Columbia Techlite Hiking Trail Womens Size 8 , VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS W119 Sprint Slate Palm Lichen Running Shoes Sz 37 , New Steve Madden Womens Grey Suede Flats Size 10 , Nike Womens Running Shoes Size 10.5 (16116) , REEBOK FURYLITE FG -WHITE W/BLUE/BLK FLOWERS -WOMEN'S SNEAKERS SIZE 8.5-BD1098 , Vince Camuto Brandia Embroidered Smooth Velvet Sneaker Black 8.5M NEW 569-866 , On Cloud Womens Cloudflyer Purple Running Shoes Size 7.5 (359380)U.S. Polo Assn. Women's Claire9 Fashion Sneaker HD3 Black Size 8.5M , Womens Converse One Star Sneakers All Star Slip On Trainers Blue Sz 6 / 36.5 EU , Brooks Womens Addiction 13 Blue Walking Shoes Size 5.5 (C,D,W) (424206) , On Cloud Womens Cloudflyer Blue Running Shoes Size 7.5 (359368) , Merrell Barrado Leather Chestnut Shoes Size 7.5 Walking Slip On Trail HikingWomens Nike Shox White/Metallic Silver/Flash Pink Running Shoes Size 6 , K-Swiss Womens Clean Court Chilli Pepper Pink Low Top Trainers Ladies Sport Shoe , New Womens Skechers GoWalk 4 Kindle Shoe Style 14145 Black/Hot Pink 86y prNew Womens Nike High Blazer Red Sequin Sparkle Leather Shoes 403729-602 sz 7Garmont Amica Lite Hiking Shoe NEW Women size 7.5 , Saucony Ride 9 Athletic Running Shoes Women's Size 10 Pink/Berry , New! Women's SYNERGY-MODERN MOVEMENT Training Skechers SN11965 Navy Lt Blue A3 , Katy Perry The Heart Fashion Sneakers 983, White, 8 US / 38 EUSkechers Womens Shoes Flex Appeal Spring Fever Memory Wide size 7.5 NEW , Steve Madden Womens Bryanne Low Top Slip On Fashion, Nude Multi, Size 6.0 OZTB , Demonia Women's Voltage 06 Ankle-Strap d'Orsay Pump Black Vegan Leather SizeNike Women's Free 5.0 Tr Fit 5 Running Shoes 704695 010 Black/White/Green, NewPuma Womens Fenty by Rihanna Riri Pink Bow Sneaker 36505402 Sneakers ShoesREEBOK TRAINTONE Fitness Athletic Oxford Size 9 Hot Pink J21987 Air CushionedNew Vans Iso 1.5 Blanket Weave Atlantic Deep Green Skate Shoe Women Size 5.5 , nike lunarglide 4 Running Shoes Sneakers Women Size 6.5 Green Color ,

“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.

Ivanka Trump Women's Bronze Ballet Flats with Bow Accent, Size 7MNINE WEST Women’s Snake Print Round Toe Ballet Flats Shoe 8M Synthetic , Alex Marie Women's Size 6 Leather Navy Blue Ballet Flats Shoes , CHACO Women's Comfort Shoes 6 Brown Sandstone Wool Leather Mules Clogs $125.00Matisse Brazil Slip On Leather Shoes Size 7m , BORN BOC Women's sz 8 Brown Leather Buckle Monk Strap Mules Clogs Shoes C32762 , Geox Respira Tan/Beige Leather Horsebit Loafer Shoe Casual Toe Women 41 , Women's Cole Haan Brown Weave Design Flats Sz. 8.5 M , Merrell Encore Pleat Slip On Mocs Mules Womens Size 9.5 M Wine Brown Leather , Naturalizer Womens Saban Leather Closed Toe Loafers , Sesto Meucci Women's Brown Leather Slip On Woven Closed Toed Shoe Size 8M , New $89 Earth Origins Roxanne size 6 Bark Brown Leather Ankle Bootie LoafersSperry Top Sider Women's Navy Shoes 6 M , New Hush Puppies Womens Believe Mardie Ivory Walking Shoes Size 8 , SKECHERS toning tennis shoes 7.5 womens shape up leather white blue 11817 , Bobs by Skechers Womens S.O.S Slip on Loafers Black Sequins Size US 6.5 TT25 , Marc by Marc Jacobs Black Corduroy Zipper Ballernias Shoes Flats Size 8Vionic Orthaheel Womens Days Mary Jane Flats Dark Brown Shoe 354FERN SIZE 7.5ADIDAS NEO VIBE COMPLETE LOW SHOES ENHANCED COMFORT SYSTEM SIZE 6 YOGA TRAININGWhitney Womens Girls Size 9.5Sneakers Shoes Three Straps A New DayUse-Custom-Brand Womens Lexi Open Toe Casual Platform Sandals , KangaROOS, Women or Girls, Genuine Leather High Top Sneakers Shoes, Size 6Reebok Womens Yourflex Trainette 9.0 Gray Cross Training Shoes Size 11 (429813) , Skechers Skecher Street Womens Hi-Lite-Metallic Patent SneakerVANS Chukka Moc DX (Suede) Blanc de Blanc White Suede Skate WOMEN'S 6 , WMNS Nike Free Run 5.0 Flash SZ 7 Reflect SIlver Hyper Pink GS 5.5Y 685712-001Merrell Womens Size 6.5 Hiking Trail Shoes Helium Ventilator Taupe EEUCNew Balance 420 v3 Women’s Black Pink Athletic Running Sneakers US 9 D C480Skechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 - High Energy Casual Shoe , Puma Fierce Core - White - 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


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


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.