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
Womens Metallic Pewter BCBGeneration Strappy Caged Wedge Heels Shoes Sz 8 , Dansko Giselle Green Leather Nubuck Mary Jane Comfort Shoes Womens 36 / 5.5-6 USLadies Spot On Ballerinas with Cut Out Design F8R0390 , Banana Republic Women's Tan Suede Metallic Gold Bow Flat Shoes size 6.5 READEasy Spirit E360 Gorsky Blue & White Ikat Canvas Comfort Ballet Flats Size 9.5M , WOMEN'S BLACK BORN CASUAL DRESS SHOES SIZE 10 , FADED GLORY Blue Fabric Deck Boat Shoes Womens Slip On Flats Size 7M , BASS Topanga 4581-200 Wo's 10M Brown Suede & Leather Flats Slip Ons Loafer , L.L. Bean women's nautical boat shoes, navy blue and yellow canvas, size 6.5M , Mc Nelly HANDMADE CUTE KNIT LOOK BALLET FLATS 7 black BOW flat heel casual shoeCOLE HAAN Calf Hair LEOPARD Print Brown Patent Leather Flats Shoes 8 BShoes Cotton Wedge Heel Front opening for Casual comfort Travel Walking NEWMERRELL JUNGLE MOC'S SUEDE BROWN WOMEN'S SHOE'S SIZE 7Simply Vera Wang 9.5M Sundew black ballet bejeweled womens ladies patent flatsCLARKS Haydn Harvest Wo's 8M Brown Leather Lizard Print Loafer Slip On , Grey Suede-Looking Open Side Pointed Toe Flat "Mohana" by Mossimo Supply, Co 11M , Galo 3211 Cognac Leather Women's Slip On Low Wedge Loafer Shoes 40.5/10-10.5 MLADIES SPOT ON FLAT BALLERINA SEQUIN SHOE STYLE - F80085Morbid Threads Women sz 5 Creepers Crepe Rockabilly Punk Goth Retro Black Star , Sex Pistols Dorothy Women's Flats Punk Goth Shoes NEW , New Women CHeRISH Leciliaa-1 Metallic PU Pointy Toe d'Orsay Ankle Strap FlatMe Too Womens Bridget Platform Flat Shoes, Storm, US 6.5 , Lucky Brand Women's White Leather Round Toe Ballet Flats Size US 8LADIES WOMENS ANKLE BOOTS WINTER FUR BUCKLE CASUAL SHOES SIZE 3 4 5 6 7 8 , Skechers Womens White Leather Fashion Sneaker Shoe - Size 7.5MMERRELL Barrado seal grey Shoes 9.5 Womens , Nine West Byteme Flats, Yellow Leather, 6.5M , Merrell Encore Eclipse Womens 6 Smooth Bug Brown Leather Slip On Mocs ShoesVIC MATIE Aqua Sea Green LEATHER LOAFERS Womens ITALY Sz 37 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.

Sperry Topsider Womens Boat Shoes Navy Leopard Sz 9.5 MVINTAGE RP ELLEN WOMENS BURGUNDY LEATHER LOAFERS SHOES SIZE 5 UK, 7 US , New Women Soda Redbud-H Nubuck Pointy Toe Slip On Ballet Flat , BASS WOMEN TASSEL LOAFERS M SOLID BROWN LEATHER. , Born Womens sz 7 38 Black Slip On Leather Walking Shoe Casual Career MayflowerNaot footwear woman shoes brown green clogs mule 40/9REIKER Celia Beige Suede Anti Stress Womens Size 6.5 Euro 37 Z strap Shoescrocs 16210 Womens Colorlite Boot Ankle BootieUS/8- Choose SZ/Color. , Gola Women`s Hectrum Jogger Red/Gray. New in Box Size 6, and 5 U.S. , Sketchers Women's Black Lightweight Athletic Shoes Size 7.5 , Women's Outdoor Beach Pool Creek Aqua Water Shoes S1173L (Women's 6)IRON FIST Care Bears Women's Ballet Flat Size 36 Purple US 6Men's slipper by FlyFlot - slipper Shoes - Canvas PU sole - blueNike Revolution 3 Gray Orange Women's Athletic Running Shoes Size 8.5 , Vince Camuto Womens Penny2 Navy Fashion Sneakers Shoes 5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 5521New Balance 1010 V2 Minimus Vibram Running Shoes Sneakers US Womens Size 10NIB Sperry Top-Sider Women Seacoast Geo Tile Print Sneaker Pink Mint Sz 5.5-11MWomen’s Nike Shox Shoes Pink/White/Silver 310154 Size 7Wmns Nike Roshe Two Print 2 II Spring Garden Floral Women Running 844933-004 , Asics Women's Gel-Nimbus 16 (Wide D) - White/Periwinkle/Mint (T486N.0128) , Merrell Accentor Hiking Shoes (For Women) Size 9.5Saucony 9M Triumph Iso 2 red black running womens ladies running sneakers shoes , PUMA Women's Vikky Mid Corduroy Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Nike Air Force One Light High Hot Pink Shoes Sz 9 525395 Shiny Bright ShimmerNew Balance Womens 928v2 Walking Shoes Grey Leather Rollbar WW928GR2 Size 11NIKE ZOOM RIVAL XC ATOMIC PINK ARMY WOMEN SHOES SIZE 6.5 & 7 , Salomon Women's Ellipse GTX Thyme/Asphalt/Tan Hiking Shoes 9MROXY Harbour Blue White Canvas Denim Palm Tree Mid Top Sneaker Shoes US 8.5 NW0BNike ~ SHOX GO ~ Silver Blue Womens Size 8.5 Running Shoes , New Balance 780 V4 Women's Size 7.5 US Running Shoes W780BR4 Gray w/ Multicolor ,

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

Women's Sequin Sizes Ballet Sequin Flats Shoes New in Black Gold Silver Sizes 37-40 New 53efb4e - 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

Women's Sequin Sizes Ballet Sequin Flats Shoes New in Black Gold Silver Sizes 37-40 New 53efb4e

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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

Flats

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.