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
Andre Assous Womens Shawn Fashion Sneaker Shoe Camel Size 8 M US , U.S. Polo Assn..(Women's Mona-J Oxford Flat - Choose SZ/ColorUnder Armour Women's Speedform Slingwrap Fade Running Shoe - Choose SZ/Color , Keds Women's Coursa LTT Fashion Sneaker Charcoal/Blue 8 B(M) USSkechers Relaxed Fit Empire Round Up Trainers in Black & Grey 12420Tommy Hilfiger Women's Aleeh Sneaker - Choose SZ/ColorConverse Chuck Taylor All Star Trainers Low Ox black Monochrome (black) NEW , Steve Madden GWEN01S1 Womens Gwen Fashion Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color. , Women's Under Armour Speedform Slingshot, Seaport/Aqua, 7.5 BMUK LUKS Women's Linzie Flat Ankle Strap Sandal Black Polyester Sandals , Nine West Womens Bonkers Synthetic Fashion Sneaker- Pick SZ/Color.Variation PUMA Womens Suede Classic Shine Sneakers- Choose SZ/Color. , K-Swiss 95603-151-M Womens Hoke SP CMF Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color.NWOB New Balance 555 Womens Walking Shoes White SL-2FIT Pink Ribbon 6.5 (D) WIDE , Skechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 SneakerBlack/White8 W USNew Balance Women's 215 Sport v1 Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Reebok Womens Skyscape Runaround 2.0 Walking Shoe- Pick SZ/Color.Tommy Hilfiger Women's Lexx Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Women's Nike Air Max Fury Running Shoes Size 7 Grey AA5740 003 , PUMA 36421301 Womens Basket Mid Ali Wns Fashion Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color.Vans u Classic Slip on Slippers Chess Board Sneakers Unisex Black/White New , adidas Neo Women's Cf Racer Tr W Road-Running-Shoes,Black/Black/Grey One... , Converse Chucks Taylor All Star Hi Women's Sneakers Trainers 159538c Enamel Red , adidas Originals Womens Tubular Defiant W Fashion Sneaker- Pick SZ/Color.Converse Ladies Chucks 559886c All Star High Sneaker Metallic Finish White , Rocket Dog CHOWCHOWBD Womens chowchow biddie Cotton Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color.Vibram Zero Drop Women's Alitza Loop Cross Trainer Shoe XS Trek Outsole washable , Kenneth Cole New York Women's Kinsley Fashion Sneaker - Choose SZ/ColorConverse Chucks Taylor All Star Hi Women's Sneakers 559939c Blue Tint / Gold ,

“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.

GH Bass & Co. Womens Eliza Black Mules 10MNew Ladies Womens Flat Strappy Peep Toe Diamante Ankle Strap Summer Sandals SizeWomens Ladies Faux Fur Slides in Pink Casual Canvas trainers Pumps Slip On FlatWomens Ladies Flat Slip On Summer Espadrille Shoes Stud Casual Holiday Pumps , J 41 ADVENTURE ON Hanna Brown Leather Slip On Mary Jane Mules Jeep Soles 7.5Drexlite Slide Clogs Womens Shoes 7.5 Loafer Wedge Brown Leather Mule Slip OnROCKET DOG Womens JAGG Gray Canvas Ballet Flat Size 7MBUFFALO BONEHEAD BALLET FLATS 37 NEW RARITY skull slipper canvas slip onBIRKENSTOCK Footprints Women's Tan Suede Loafers Slip-on Shoe US 5.5-6 , Bandolino 25025054 Womens Limbs Loafer Flat- Choose SZ/Color.BIRKENSTOCK TAN SUWDE LEATHWR MULES/CLOGS (sz US 10 or Euro 41) , ART - Ballerine LILLE, Donna, Grigio (Grau (BRUNITO)), 36 EULOUISE ET CIE taupe LEATHER TAN brown FLATS BLACK GOLD TRIM low heel 8 8.5 38.5Franco Sarto Women's Sylvia Ballet Flat - Choose SZ/Color , Athletic Womens Wedge Trainers Rhinestone Sneaker High Top Breathable Sport Shoe , ADIDAS Basketball High Top Sneakers Women's 7 Blue Orange Metallic Silver GrayColumbia Women’s Hiking Shoes Size 9.5Wome's Fashion Toning Shoes Casual Fitness Wedge Sneaker Breath Walking TrainersSAUCONY OASIS 2 SZ 8.5 Women's Running Shoes 15209-5 Blue/Green , New Balance Women's 928V2 White Walking Shoes Sneakers WW928HW2 Size 6 , Teva Women Hiking Outdoors Strappy Sandals Shoes US Size 10Guess Sneakers Womens 11 Suede Pink Gray Rare Style Designer Fashion Athleisure , Women's chaussures TEMPS DES CERISES Numerous In Variety Athletic ShoesDC Women's Villain SE Shoe - Rose Gold - NewSeaVees 08/61 Army Issue High Mojave US Women's 9.5 , Women's Skechers Bright Idea - Pasha 23600/GRY Shoes NIB , Womens Nike Revolution 3 Size 6.5 Wolf Grey Hyper Orange 819303 002HOKA ONE ONE Conquest Pink Yellow Women's Running Athletic Sneakers - Size 9.5ASICS Women's Gel-Encourage LE Tennis Shoe White/Silver Size 5Womens Brogue New Patent Leather Wedge Heels Creepers Punk Shoes Pumps Plus Size ,

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

Skechers - Women's Premium-Break Even Sneaker 25813 - Premium-Break Choose SZ/Color b19cd09 - 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

Skechers - Women's Premium-Break Even Sneaker 25813 - Premium-Break Choose SZ/Color b19cd09

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.