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 Pink Metallic Gold Sparkle Sky High Top Dunk Sneakers Sz 8Nike Women's Flex 2013 Run 580440-009 Black Running Athletic Shoes Size 7.5 US , Women's FootJoy LoPro Waterproof Red Leather Golf Shoe Sz 7.5 MINT-PERFECT!USED New Balance Women's Gray & Teal Running Sneakers Shoes Sz. 6.5 W480CB4 Q987Woman Reef Mid Seas Flip Flops Sandal RF1344 Black 100% Original Brand New , Skechers Sport Women's Crafter-Gnome Patrol Clog,Toffee Brown Size 6.5 , Nike Flex Trail 2 Women’s Black Pink Blue Gray Running Shoes Sz 8.5 , Asics Gel GT 2000 Running Shoes Pink Blue Womens Size 11 , G by Guess Womens Citti Fabric Low Top Slip On Fashion SneakersTennis Reebok for Women's Silver/Green/Pink Running Athletic SZ 11 Multi-Color , NEW WOMENS SIZE 6 SKECHERS SYNERGY MASQUERADE GOLD LEATHER ATHLETIC SHOES , MERRELL Women’s PROTERRA VIM Sz 10 SPORT HIKING SHOES ALUMINUM J57254 Very GoodQupid Women's Mitch-01 Fashion Sneaker, Black/White, Size 7.5The North Face Womens GTD TRAIL Shoes Size 8 Turquoise SC8 , NIKE FREE XT EVERYDAY FITSOLE WOMENS 429844-007 GRAY Gym Training Shoes SIZE 6.5UNDER ARMOUR THRILL 2 Gray+Purple Casual/Athletic Running Shoes NEW , Under Armour Cartilage Footsleeve Women’s 9 Gray Pink Power Running ShoesWomen Reef Sandy Love Sandal Flip Flops RF1354 Black/ Black 100% Original New , Brooks Glycerin 13 G13 Running Sneakers 3D Fit Print Super DNA Size 6 Medium GUCNew Women's Fila 5SR20556-255 Core Calibration Running Sneakers - Multi (B6)New burgundy suede women's glamor sneekers shoes sz 7.5M glossy OLIVIA 02Asics Gel Exalt Running / Training T379Q Womens Size 11Nine West Womens Welldone Suede Low Top Slip On Fashion SneakersNike Revolution Running Shoes Gray Blue Pink Women's 7 Seven 38 European Woman'sCHAMPION RAMPE Women's Shoes ATHLETIC Running SNEAKERS Tennis WHITE Size 11 NEW , Skechers Memory Foam Slip On Sneakers Womens Size 9.5 Bronze Shoes-6540 , Women's New Balance 758 White/Light Green Running/Athletic Shoes Size 7 BORIGINAL REEBOK CLASSIC 90' STYLE (US WOMEN SIZE 7) PRE-OWNEDNEW BALANCE 646 Women's Tan/Beige Hiking/Walking Athletic Shoes Size 7 EXCELLENT

“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.

COLE HAAN Womens Size 7.5 B Brown Leather Upper Slip On Pinch Toe Loafer Shoe , Womens SOFTSPOTS Soft Spots Brown Leather Mules Clogs Bow Accents Shoes 8ww , Cabin creek size 6.5 brown loafers Shoes , Crocs Sarah Clog Espresso Womens, SIZE 8 - NWT - Free Shipping $50Etienne Aigner Casual Shoes Womens Sz 7 Blue Leather Moc Toe Loafer-5830SAS Free Time Brown Suede Leather Walking Oxford Shoes Tripad Comfort Size 10 SNEW REBECCA MINKOFF UMA Woven Leather Ballet Flats (Size 6.5) , Aerosoles Womens hazelnut Square Toe Loafers Blue Size 6.5WOMEN ALPHA DELTA PI EMBLEM CANVAS SNEAKER TENNIS SHOES SZ 10Women’s Nike Flex Experience RN4 Size US 9 Aqua and Silver Running Shoes , BNIB NEXT BLACK & WHITE HIGH TOP CANVAS TRAINER BOOT US 7 , New! Women's Hashbeens Toffel Sky High Closed Toe Clog (SIZE Eur 41) Tan I10Nice **BJORNDAL** Black Suede Closed Toe, Cork Bed,Slides, US. 6 M, Euro 37Ellen Tracy "Cedar" White Patent Leather Jewels Peeptoe Slingback Flats Sz 6.5MWomens Canvas Fashion Sneakers Platforms Wedges Heel Casual Sneakers , Nike Dual Fusion Run 2 Women’s Running Shoes Gray Size 10 599564-010 , (A-6) ASICS GT 3000 5 Women's Shoes Bright Rose/White/Purple SIZE 7 Wide (D) , Womens Superga 2750 Cotmetu Casual Metallic Low Top Plimsoll Sneaker US 5.5-10.5Women's Ellie Women's Kate-709 Characteristical Athletic Shoes , PUMA Women's Basket Platform VR Wn Olive Night-Olive Night 6.5 M USENZO ANGIOLINI CRYSTANI Red Pony Hair Designer Pumps Heels 5.5 M , Nike Revolution 4 Women's Running Shoes Platinum/Sunset Pulse size 8 , Rachel Zoe Women's Burke Clouds Sneaker, Gold, 10 M US , PUMA Women's Roma Classic Met Safari Wn Sneaker Black Size 6.0Brooks Purecadance 5 Running Shoes Black.Teal Women's US Size 10.5 (F3,14)Onemix Authentic Women's Casual Running Shoes Fashion Sneakers Walking TrainersSkechers Women's GO Walk 4 Achiever Gray/White Walking Shoes - Size 10 NWB , UNDER ARMOUR Women's Micro G Press Training Shoes, Black/Rhino Gray 8265 SZ 6 =Nike Free Run+ 3 Running Shoes Women’s Size 7 US Excellent Plus ConditionSkechers Sport Women's EZ Flex Flighty Majesty Slip-on Flat Sandal Comfort

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

CONVERSE Chuck Chuck Taylor All Star High 26494 Shoe Tops Canvas Athletic Shoe Mens 9 Womens 11 ? a972d24 - 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

CONVERSE Chuck Chuck Taylor All Star High 26494 Shoe Tops Canvas Athletic Shoe Mens 9 Womens 11 ? a972d24

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.