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
Dr. Marten Leather Oxford Style 12037 Shoe Sz 7 , ESPRIT Odette Scalloped Edge Ballet Flats, Silver, 8.5 US , Marc Jacobs Jelly Sandal Velvet, Women’s Shoes, Size 6.5M , Saint & Libertine Fiji Paprika Orange Nubuck Leather SlipOn Smoking Slipper Flat , Dansko Black Leather Dress Women Comfort Casual Slides Mules Footwear (40) 9J.CREW Marjorie Contrast Ballet Flats Aluminum (Gray) 9Halston Heritage Kandra Cracked Metallic MuleRENE BY ARA Brown Suede Echt Mokassin Shoes Sz 9 , Ann Taylor Size 6 Auden Jeweled Flat Shoes Dark Ruby Velvet Pointy Maroon , Bass Cocoa Brown Leather womens Clog Size 8SAS Simplify Women's Leather Slip-On Moc Diabetic Loafer Antique Wine size 9M , Clarks Raisie Eletta Womens 7.5M Mahogany Leather Penny Loafers Shoes , Sanita Women's Clogs Size US 8-8.5 Comfortable Embroidered Yellow Boho , COLE HAAN COUNTRY Women's 8 B Brown Leather Silver Dressy Penny Loafers Shoes e5 , Munro Women's Snakeskin Look Multi Color (size 9.5M New Without Box , SANITA DANISH clog Women' SZ EU41 Professional Closed Back Distressed Gray SuedeCole Haan Gold Leather Women's Point Toe Shoes Size 7 1/2 BNWOT Bebe Sport Kenedy Women's White Fashion Sneakers Size US 9 15602Unisex Josef Seibel Comfort Shoes Euro Size 39 Mens 6.5 Womens 8.5 Casual SolidBNWOT Merrell Women's Jungle Moc Touch Breeze Shoes J53060 size 9.5Sperry Womens C13 CH73 Black Leather 8.5 M Striped Loafers Boat Shoes SC8 , Aetrex E366W Julia Gray Suede Comfort Mary Jane Flats Women's Sz 7.5 Medium , Dr. Doc Martens 8524 England Non Slip Casual Oxfords Women's Size UK8/USM9/USL10 , Dr. Martens Slip On Casual Shoe , Brown, Leather, Women's US Sz8-8.5Nine West Zance Suede Ballet Flats Black Women's Shoes Size 6.5 M NEWAntonio Melani Womens Leather Shoes Size 7.5 Blue Mary Jane Eyelets S04A4Aerosoles Leopard Loafers Memory Foam Size 7 Women'sDansko OLIVIA Cheetah Hair Loafer Flat US 6.5 - 7 Slip-on Leoprad PrintCole Haan Grandos Black Genuine & Patent Leather Snake Print Flats Size 7B

“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.

Born Handcrafted Footwear Women’s 6 M Brown Leather Buckle Loafers Flats ShoesPropet Womens Pedwalker 3 Size 7 2E Hook and Loop Comfort Shoes Black WPED3 , Sam Edelman Felicia Black Suede Leather Ballerina Ballet Flats Women's 8 MJuicy footwear Casual Comfort Slip On Round toe flat cherry Women's Shoe's , Easentials Women's Leather Loafers Size 7N Heels Brown , Ahnu Jackie Pro - Go-anywhere Slip On Moc Toe Leather Loafers Olive Women's 10.5 , SPERRY Top - Siders Leather with Cheetah Leopard Accent Boat Shoes Size 7 M , CROCS Womens Size 13 Slip on Slingback Shoes RED Sport Croc band Rubber , Clarks Clog Women size 11 Brown , US ETHNIC SHOES INDIAN SHOES HANDMADE BEADED SANDALS FLAT BALLET FLIPFLOPS DD922Drew Tulip Oxfords Theraputic Shoes Bronze Metallic Leather Size 10.5 N , Dr Comfort Betty Women SZ 9.5 XW Brown Leather Strap Diabetic Walking Shoes #D73Calvin Klein Womens Fiana Leather Cap Toe Ballet Flats, Blush, Size 7.5 YblE , Puma women white leather upper walking sneakers size 9Adidas shoes women 6 / 6.5 , Scholl Loafer Velcro Strap Brown Leather Croc Fabric Women 38 US 7 Comfort Shoes , Adidas Gazelle Women’s Black Silver Dots Fashion Sneakers BY9363 - Size 6.5Womens Saucony Grid Phantom Silver Trainers Size 6.5M (V670) , Ryka Grafik V3 Running Sneakers Womens Crosstraining Shoes..."Brand New" 9.5m , **Adidas Outdoor Terrex Climacool Boat Water Shoes - Women's Size 7.5, Green , Nike Studio Wrap 4 Women's Training Shoes Yoga Dance Black 811650 001 Size 6Under Armour Women's Mid Bra w/Cups - Choose SZ/Color , Dr. Martens Mae White Leather Mary Jane Double Strap Sneakers Shoes Air Wair 9 , Topo Halsa Running Cross Training Athletic Shoes Sneakers Lime Orchid Womens 7A608 Nike Women’s Air Max 90 Sacai 804550-440 Obsidian Size 7.5 New Retail $150Women's Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Double Tongue Sneaker Shoe , Skechers Women's Bikers-Lounger Slip-On Loafer - Choose SZ/Color , Nike Air Jordan Jasmine Prem HC GG (GS) Youth Kids Shoes 807711-207 Size 5Y-7.5Y , Indosole Kota Black Palm Womens Shoes Size 40 9 , Asics T59AQ Gel Scram 2 Womens 7.5 M Running Shoes Sneakers Black Pink Gray Walk

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

Sperry Top Sider Fur Lined Lined Boat Shoes Shoes Size Size 6 Women's Faux Snake Skin VGUC Casual 2cb5882 -

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

Sperry Top Sider Fur Lined Lined Boat Shoes Shoes Size Size 6 Women's Faux Snake Skin VGUC Casual 2cb5882

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.