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
Cabela's Women's Tan Suede Slip On Hiking Outdoor Shoes 84-1122 Size 7.5 NWOTWomen's Merrell Duskair Moc Shoes Slip-Ons Black Distressed 9.5 M $70BETSEYVILLE women's slip on FLAT white with black bow 7M multi colored rivetsWomen's Clarks Artisan Sz 8 1/2 Brown Leather Mules. WS344 , 3. New With Defects Unique NURSING WORK CLOGS Tan SIZE 7 1/2 M WOMENS SHOESAdam Tucker “Taylor 14” Womens 10M nutmeg suede Slip On Ballet Flats , Birkenstock Arizona Eva L9 M7 Womens sz 40 Shoes Sandals Sandals Double Strap , DVF Leopard Print Calf Hair Ballet Flats (SIZE 7.5M)NWT BEBE MIRIAM PLATFORM HEELS SHOES SIZE 9Clarks Artisan Black Leather Open Heel Slip On Mule Clogs - Womens Size 8Merrell Primo Patch Bug Brown Womens 7.5 Slip On Moc Loafers Comfort Shoes , Keen Women's Mary Jane Suede Shoes Deep Robin's Egg Blue USA Women's Size 8M , Catherine Malandrino navy velvet sneakers w/ bow Sz 7.5 , CIRCUS by SAM EDELMAN "LENORA" Ankle Tie Multicolor Canvas Sandals Sz 8 Palm , Ladies Sonita Professional Black Leather Slip On Wedge Clogs Sz 37 6.5 - 7 fw218Women's Black Leopard American Eagle Flats Size 7 Medium Kb061417ABorn W81599 Honesty Monk Strap Stitched Comfort Walking Loafers Women's US 9.5DV by Dolce Vita Laurie Black Patent Leather Women's Slip On Loafers Size 7 M , Clarks Collection Soft Cushion Women's Brown Suede Mary Jane Size 6W6.5 M Mauve Croc Print Leather ANTONIO MELANI Pointy-toe loafers flats shoes EUC , DANSKO Professional Clogs Black Patent Leather US 6.5-7 NarrowClarks Gaberly Panama Womens Leather Adjustable Strap Loafers Shoes brown size 8J-41 Jambu Brady Gray Clog Slip On Work Career Womens Sz 7 Vegan Shoes EUC , CHAPS Women’s Shoes Size 7 Vegan Leather Clog Heels Slip On , PRIVO Clarks Brown Leather Clogs Slip On Women 7 M Loafers Wedge Shoes , KENNETH COLE *Jane Talking* Black/Brown Patent Leather Mary Jane Flats Size 7.5ZEETA BLACK/BROWN LEATHER CLOGS WOMENS SIZE 8.5Bare Traps Shoes Size 8.5 M Hookup Lt Brown 8 1/2 2" Heel Mule Mary Jane ClogIvanka Trump Pink driving moccasins suede leather rubber sole square toe 9 M ,

“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.

True Religion Women's Yellow Suede Slip On Peep Toe Ballet Flats US Size 6.5 MBRAND NEW WOMEN'S BALLERINA BALLET FLAT SHOES - IRIS , Flat Loafers Women Girl Fashion Cat Slip On Canvas Trainers Pumps Slicker Shoes , Ivanka Trump Pink driving moccasins suede leather rubber sole square toe 9 M , BASS womens shoes TAUPE SIZE 9 , Women's J-41 Horizon Loafers Shoe Size 10M Brown Suede Faux Fur Lined Casual W15 , Sperry Top-Sider High Top Boot~Gray Corduroy-Plaid~Sequin Sneakers Shoes~Sz 6.5SAS CLASSIC Womens Penny Loafers Leather Shoes Moccasins Mocha SIZE 9.5 S , B Makowsky Tyson Navy Blue Suede Chain Bow Ballet Flats NewSAS leather Handsewn Womens 9 W , Gianni Bini Womens Size 10M Portinah Pink Ruffle Nubuck Leather Slip On SneakersClarks Black Suede Mary Jane Tamitha Aster Comfort Shoe New , Dr. Martens US Size 7 to 7.5 Brown Platform Women's , New Sam Edelman Womens Carmela Pink Walking, Hiking, Trail Shoes Size 7 , ASICS Gel-Storm Running Shoe Pink Orange Yellow T3N5Q Size Womens 10Prowalker ROCKPORT Tan Walking Shoes Women SZ 6 , Puma Sneakers Size 9 White Pink Purple Design , Nike Downshifter 7 Running Shoes - Women's Size 10, White , Fila Shoes Skele-toes Skeletoes Running Black Pink Womens Size 6Women's New Balance Country Trail Hiking Size 8 DWomen's Easy Spirit Gizela3 Genuine Flats , BASILE 28 Shoes 353508 WhitexBrownxMulticolor 37 1/2 , Easy Spirit Womens TRAVELTIME Low Top Slip On Walking Shoes, White, Size 9.0Adidas Tubulular Invader Strap Suede Shoes Sz 7 Easy Blue Opal Nubuck Basketball , Salomon Womens X Ultra 2 GTX Athletic Support Hiking Trail Mid Shoes Size 9PLDM by Palladium Women's Gaetane TWL Cayenne 93396-615 Brand New in BoxDiadora Shape 8 Black White Aqua Women Running Walking Shoes DA172074-C0641ASICS Womens - Gray Running Shoes Size 9 (366268)MBT Womens Toning Toner Sneakers Shoes Sz 10-10.5 / 42 Black Gray EUC ComfortSkechers Shape Ups Women's Size 5 Hydro Brown Toning Leather Walking Shoes 24864

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

Ladies Naturalizer Black Dual 8 Action Foam Foam T-Strap Casual Shoes Ladies - Size 8 1/2WW e489acb -

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

Ladies Naturalizer Black Dual 8 Action Foam Foam T-Strap Casual Shoes Ladies - Size 8 1/2WW e489acb

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Associate degree in computer networking from Ivy Tech, 1995 graduate of Columbus North High School


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.