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
Nike Flex Supreme TR 6 Sneaker - Women's Size 7.5 Gray DAMAGEDADIDAS Energy Boost 3 BB5789 Black Pink Running Athletic Shoes Womens 7 B80 , CONVERSE ALL STAR QUILTED HIGH TOP FASHION THICK SOLE BLACK SNEAKERS WOMANS 6.5 , Summer Women Running Shoes Mesh Breathable Men Trainer Rubber Unisex SneakersConverse Women's Revival Ox Fabric Low Top Fashion Running Shoes/Sneakers Size 9Mizuno Wave Elixir 8 Women size 9 Free shipping , Dr. Scholl's Anna Sneaker - Women's Size 8.5M Gray , New Balance Womens Size 7.5 Gray White Blue Running Athletic Shoes , New Womens Skechers Skech Knit Memory Foam Shoes Style 12530 Navy/Pink 168H pr , Adidas Womes CF Lite Racer So W Running Shoe, Black, Size 7NEW RYKA Size 6 M US Women's Devotion Gray/Blue/Orange Walking Athletic ShoesWomen's Skechers Shape-Ups Shoes Sneakers Size 7 Walking Toning Silver Blue K6 , **Adidas CF Superhoops Mid Sneaker - Women's Size 8, White , womens asics gt 1000 5 size 9 running shoes worn once gray coral! , Women's Saucony Ride 6 Sz 8 Sneakers Shoes Running Fitness Purple Orange Blue L1New Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 3 Women's Trail Running Grey Sz. 9.5**Nike Downshifter 7 Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 9 - White , PULL & BEAR Platform Fashion Floral Printed Sneakers Shoes US size 8 , Wendy Williams Twin Gore Textured Slip On Sneakers LeopardPrnt 6.5M NEW 498-100Superga 2210 COTW Slip-On Sneaker, Women's Size 8.5, Black , Merrell Poloma Women's Size 7.5 Trail shoes - Nice - Full Tread - Fast Shipping , Fashion Women's Running Shoes Breathable Casual Sport Shoes Ultra-Light SneakersReebok Womens Tennis Shoes Memory Tech LT Prime Size 9.5 Black RunningNike Air Force White Low Pro Dunk Shoes Womens Size 9.5 Sneakers 317813 Athletic , VN04LGR75 Vans Women Slide-On - Checkerboard blackFashion Korean Women's Oxford Casual Flats Sneaker Heels Breathable Shoes SW23 , Women's ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 Size 8 Running Shoes Sneakers T6A5N Shark , Saucony Triumph 11 Running Shoes Power Grid Pink Gray Women’s Size 6Nike In Season 5 Training Running Shoes Gray Lime Green Women's 8.5 US

“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.

New Women Qupid Webb-03x Faux Suede Square Toe Bow Tie Ballerina FlatCrocs Women's Navy Canvas Boat Shoes Size 8 , STUART WEITZMAN Chitchat Flats, Sz. 6.5, Good Cond, Ret. $215+taxJelly Pop Inza Diamond Bead Sandals Los Angeles California New Size 8M Gray , Simple Planet Walkers Moc Women size 5.5 Black Leather , Slipsole Old Beijing Cloth Embroidered Shoes whiteNIB MIISTA JO STRAP SANDALS SOFT BLUE LEATHER MADE IN SPAIN ALL SIZES 258$Women's Acorn 10 M Tweed Canvas Flast Flower Brown Blue A060Lands’ End Shoes Sz 9B Mary Jane Sport Casual Oxfords Athletic 400754 , NWT Sanuk ZUZU Sidewalk Surfers Shoes BLACK MULTI Womens 6 MSanuk Women's Donna Daily Sidewalk Surfer Loafers Shoes , LADIES SHOES/FOOTWEAR - Cushion Comfort Sandal Falco pewter size 41/10345 Joie Huxley Gray Suede Cutout Slip On Sneakers Women's Sz 36 MNew Balance brand women's walking shoe, 8 B, white faux leather uppers, canvasAsics Women's Hyper Rocket Girl SP 5 Size 10Steven Natural Comfort Lora Embroidered Sneaker Mule GRAY PEACOCK 9W NEW 560-800 , Tory Burch Driver Shoes Navy Blue Size 7,5LifeStride Women's Dorian Ballet Flat, Denim Heather, 6 W US , Isaac Mizrahi Live TooCute SOHO Velvet Bow Slip-On Sneakers Womens 9.5 M Black + , BLACK RED WHITE BANDANA HOUSE SHOES SLIPPERS TROOPER NEW SIZE 9 10 11 12 13Women Osiris Clone Skateboarding Shoes Blue Pink Size 6.5Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars Low Womens Shoes Size 7.5 New , NIB UNLTD BY MARC ECKO SARATOGA MELANIE SNEAKERS SKATEBOARD WHITE/BL WOMENS 8.5Nike Flyknit Lunar 3 Running Shoes Sneakers 698182-008 Sz 8 Womens 1A1Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Aubergine Womens Minimalist Walking Trainer euro 40 us 9Women's GUESS Factory Women's Caithlyn Boots Promotions Flats , THE WALKING DEAD inspired CUSTOM HAND PAINTED HIGH TOPS MADE TO ORDERVANS Authentic Slim (Hickory Stripes) Black Skate Shoes WOMEN'S 9.5ASICS T5N8N Blue Athletic Sneaker Womens Athletic Shoes Size 9 US 40.5 EUROASICS Flashpoint Gel Women's Rainbow Running Athletic Shoe Size 9.5 B256N Y250

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 Women's Pink Skechers Flex Appeal Women's 52J Athletic Running Shoe 12508H Navy/Hot Pink 52J 5d37c02 -

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 Women's Pink Skechers Flex Appeal Women's 52J Athletic Running Shoe 12508H Navy/Hot Pink 52J 5d37c02

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.