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
CLOSE-OUT! PEARL iZUMi ~ Size 10 ~ Women's Sneakers ROAD N2 Running Purple Pink , Ryka Women's Revere Walking Shoe, Black/Mint, 8.5 M USAdidas Superstar 80s Metal Toe W Sneakers Women Shoes CP9945 Size US 7 NEW , Women's Asics Nimbus 19 Gray Light Green Orange Running Shoes Size 9.5 , Skechers Sport Women's Premium Sneaker,White/Blue,8 W USTeva Womens Hiking Outdoor Shoes Brick & Tan Suede Sz 8DIADORA HERITAGE 1978 Wedge High Top sneaker Shoes Womens Sz 6 vintage Hipster , Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe, Black, 11 M USWomen's Asics Kayano 23 Black Running Shoes Size 10. , ECCO Dark Brown Suede vegetable tanned Oxford Womens Size 40 , Adidas Tubular Shadow Knit Pink White BB8871 Women US 5 2017merrell hiking shoes Women Size 8 Excellent Condition , Asics GT-2000 Womens Running Shoes White Pink Multi Color Sz 10Skechers Burst Memory Foam Leopard Animal Print Sneaker 5.5 Lightweight , New Balance Vazee Pace V2 Women's Silver Mink/Black/Poisonberry Size 8 PACECN2BASH BOWIE WEDGE SIZE 39 US 8 BURGUNDY SUEDE ADJUSTABLE STRAP SNEAKER BOOT A9Skechers Women's Flex Appeal 2.0 - Passports White/Gray Loafers & Slip-Ons ShoeReebok F/S Hi Eden Women's Shoes , Ryka Studio D XT Athletic Shoes - Women's Size 8.5M - Silver/White NEW!Reebok Womens Print Lite Rush Athletic Running Shoes-Grey/Turquoise-Size-8 , Vans SK8 Hi Reissue Checkerboard Black Pewter Women's Size: 6Zumba Rio Street Fresh Dance Sneakers, Women's Size 9, Perfectly PurpleREEBOK X FACE STOCKHOLM FREESTYLE HI LOYAL WISDOM WOMENS SIZE SNEAKERS BD3570Merrell Carbon Womens Hiking Athletic Shoes US 7.5 Black Gray Trail EucPuma Basket Heart Canvas Women's Sneakers Pearl White Rose Gold Pink Shoes 8 USPUMA Women's Vikky Mid FP Sneaker SIZE 9 NWBVans Iso 1.5 Mesh Ultracush Pewter Ballerina Shoes Size Men 8.5 Women 10 , Nike Tennis Zoom Cage Women's US Size 11 Tennis Shoes White Silver 705260 102New Balance WL574CIB Shattered Pearl Women Suede Mesh Angora w Faded Rose Sz 6.5 ,

“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.

Dansko Debra Loafers Comfort Black Leather Slip On Wedge Heels Women 37 US 6.5No Boundaries RED SHOES WOMENS SIZE 9 , Blowfish Malibu Slip On Flats Women's Size 6.5 M Shoes Ivory Beige Canvas Wrn 1xSesto Meucci Women's Brown Woven Leather Loafers Shoes Size 8 M G8 , Sperry TopSider Womens Bluefish 2 Eye Linen Oat 9276619 Boat Shoes 7.5 MCalvin Klein size 6m Black leather ballet flats Pre-owned , Primigi Sneakers Xena 37N L 6 Multi Silver , SAS Tripad Comfort Womens Loafers 5.5 Bronze Metallic Leather Slip On Shoes USABorn Brown Fur Lined Leather Suede Mocassins Slip On Mules Women’s US 8Clarks Collection, Soft Cushion Flats, Women's Size 9 M, Woven Leather BrownBotkier Mandy Flats - Women's Size 8, BlackCircus by Sam Edelman Women's Sz 7.5 White Peach Sneakers Flamingo Design Shoes , Comfort Collection Dyeables Mallory 8.5B Champagne Nude Shimmer Wedding Sandals , Fila S Amalfi Athletic Shoes-Women' size 7 BlackWomen's Converse All Team Star Oxford Cheering Shoe 9 white w/ color card UVGC! , Hoka One One Gaviota Blue/White Running Shoes Women's US 7.5 (P)NIKE AIR JORDAN AJ I 1 BG RETRO HIGH PREM HC GG BLACK SHOES 8Y = Sz 9.5 WOMENNike Free 6 Black White Womens Running ShoesNIKE ROSHE TWO WOMEN'S RUNNING SHOES - WOMEN'S SZ 7Hoka One One Clifton 3 Running Shoes Size 8 40 Blue Jewel Neon Coral WomensNew Balance 990 Wine Color Suede For Women Shoes New In Box KJ990BYG , Puma Roller Skates Pink Woman's Size 8 Puma Roma Style, Retro/ VintageConverse Jack Purcell Leather OX 1S962 Black/White New Casual Shoe Size 7Women's Trainers Reebok Alicia Keys Court Sneakers Everyday Leather Shoes861708-002 NIB NIKE Womens ROSHE TWO FLYKNIT Hi Sneakerboots Black White NEWPUMA Women's COMPLETE VENTIS 2 Running Shoes White/Pink 185159-02 a5 , womens Nike air max thea size 8.5 pink gray eucWomens Nike Air Max 95 Zen Baroque Bone Running shoes Size 7.5 313866-221 , Naturalizer Womens Clarissa Leather Low Top Zipper Fashion SneakersNew Womens Girls Sport Platform Wedge Air Max Trainers Shoes Sweet Sneaker Boots ,

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

MBT Womens 26143 Sport 2 Athletic Walking Shoes Sz 8.5M Rocker Gray Athletic Toning Rocker 400167-82 e2e073f -

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

MBT Womens 26143 Sport 2 Athletic Walking Shoes Sz 8.5M Rocker Gray Athletic Toning Rocker 400167-82 e2e073f

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.