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
Brooks PureFlow 5 1202071B688 Neutral 3D Marathon Running Shoes Women's 6.5Merrell ALL OUT BLAZE SIEVE J65248 Leather Cut Out Hiking Shoes Sz 8.5Skechers Women's Reggae Happy Rainbow Sandal CoralNIKE Womens Benassi Jdi Print 618919-605 BARELY ROSE Size 6 , Pleaser Pink Label Women's Fab 422 Open-Toe Pump Ivory Satin HeelsNIKE Womens Benassi Jdi Print 618919-013 LIGHT BONE/MEDIUM OLIVE Womens Size 10Easy Street Women's Nori Slide Pewter Metallic Synthetic/Gore SandalsSkechers Women's Rumblers Wave New Lassie Slide Wedge Sandal PewterNIKE Womens Nike Ultra Comfort Slide 882695-100 WHITE Womens Size 11 , Columbia Women’s Dakota Drifter Trail Shoe Raspberry Purple Suede Size 7Fabulicious Women's Lip 102SD Double-Band Platform Slide Clear PVC/Clear Sandals , Skechers Women's Meditation Studio Kicks Thong Sandal BlackSkechers Women's BOBS Plush Scratch Party Alpargata Multi Flats , Easy Street Women's Kindly Espadrille Slingback White Floral Synthetic Sandals , Bearpaw Women's Julianna Studded Cork Sandal Tan Synthetic Hook and LoopLadies Clarks Elasticated Fastener Sports Trainers Step Allena BaySkechers Women's BOBS Plush Peace and Love Olive , Bearpaw Women's Julianna Studded Cork Sandal Pewter Synthetic Hook and LoopOn Cloud Womens Running Shoes Size 10.5 (21073) , LADIES SKECHERS GO WALK ULTIMATE SLIP ON WALKING CASUAL TRAINERS SHOES 13519Nike Women’s Air Zoom Hyperace Volleyball Shoes 902367-001 Size 11.5 Blck/WhitePleaser Women's Appeal 21 Ankle-Strap d'Orsay Pump Leopard Print Satin PumpsSkechers Women's YOU Slip-On Sneaker Burgundy Walking ShoesKathmandu Drysdale Men's Lightweight Suede Casual Trail Hiking ShoesNike Free TR Flyknit 2 Womens 904658-001 Black White Training Shoes Size 12 , Fabulicious Women's Clearly 408 Ankle-Strap Sandal Clear PVC/Lucite Sandals , Ladies Clarks Slip On Casual Shoes Sillian Stork , Puma X Rihanna Fenty Trainer Hi Shoe Boots Size 8 Womens Green 190398 02 NewAnne Klein Women's Jackie Heeled Sandal Light Cognac Nubuck Heeled Sandals

“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.

Flexisoles Women's Shoes Black Leather Loafers Slip-On Womens Size 7.5NY & Co Black Ballet Flat Women Sz 7 Elastic Ankle StrapMERRELL PARMA DARK BROWN LEATHER CASUAL COMFORT SLIP ONS LOAFERS 38.5 8 MINT!bongo brand black fabric ballet flats beaded toe accents size 9M , Axxiom ~ Marnie Brown Loafers Clog Shoes ~ Women's Size 10Minnetonka Size 7 Kilty Brown Moccasins Flats Loafers Shoes Suede Leather 403Merrell Jungle Moc Women's loafers Beige Suede Leather Size 7.5 , Emu Australia Springvale Purple Ballet Flats Size 7 New Suede Slip On Perforated , KLOGS CLOGS AURORA WOMEN'S DISPLAY MODEL SHOES BLACK SMOOTH 8 M , Klogs Genesis Womens Clogs Shoes Display Model Leather Black Smooth 11 M , NIB J.Crew Gemma Fabric Strip Flats Shoes Navy Ivory Size 10 Ballet FlatsPRADA women shoes sz 7 europe 37.5 black leather. S6411 , Prada Tan Perforated Leather Slip On Loafer Flat Shoe Size 40 10 , NEW WOMEN SPERRY LEATHER TOP SIDER 71/2M ANGELFISH BEIGE BOAT SHOESPEARL IZUMI Syncro Fuel Rd SNEAKERS Sz 11 RUNNING Shoes ATHLETIC Purple Gray " , Lady Fairway Brooklawn Womens Leather Golf Shoes Size - 7.5 Narrow White & TanNike women runinig shoes pink and black size us 8 eur 39USED Women's SKECHERS EMPRESS SPLENDID Blue Casual Slip On Comfort Shoes 23103Propet W3840 Royal blue Leather Washable Walker Sneakers, Women's US 7.5 NSkechers 22186 Bikers Slip On Taupe Womens Size 8.5 , Skechers Performance Womens Go Step Lite-Evoke Walking Shoe- Select SZ/Color. , Sample Asics Gel Electro 33 Women's Running Shoes Size 7 **Nice , Women's Fabulicious Women's Flair 401 Clear/Clear Excellent Craftsmanship Athletic Shoes , Nike Hunk Hi Skinny Print Women's Shoes Size 5Skechers Women's Relaxed Fit Breathe Easy Lucky Lady Mary Jane , Converse - Chuck Taylor - Double Training Woman Ox (Women's-9 UK-7 EUR-40) New , ASICS Womens Gel-Game 6 White Running Shoes Size 10.5 (421332)Sneakers Femme samples shoes ETNIES ROCKER WHITE PINK WOMENNIKE Zoom Rival M8 Track Field Sprint Running Spike Shoes. Size 7.5 , Preowned Nike Women's Air Max 1 Essential Running Shoe Black/White, 7.5

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

New Under Armour Women's Charged CoolSwitch Under CoolSwitch 1285485-002 Size kelvinsi-26362 6 b66d0b5 - 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

New Under Armour Women's Charged CoolSwitch Under CoolSwitch 1285485-002 Size kelvinsi-26362 6 b66d0b5

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.