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
Converse Hi Tops Trainers Sneakers Vintage Unisex Retro 90's US 9.5 , Converse Low Top Trainers Sneakers Vintage Unisex Retro 90's US 7.5vintage puma shoes Speed Cat Brown Leather Size 8 , (H-8) Brooks Asteria Women SIZE 6.5 Medium (B) Running ShoesBrooks Pure Flow 6 Womens Running Shoe Size 6M Bluebird/Peacoat/ Lime Punch , Asics Gel KAYANO 23 T696N Glacier Gray/Bay Women's Running Shoes Sneaker 8 , Nike Flex TR2 Purple Pink Athletic Training Shoes Womens Size 8Tommy Hilfiger Frank3 Slip-On Fashion Sneaker, White, 8.5 USNike Womens Hyperspike Flywire Black Volleyball Shoes Size 8.5 Great condition! , G by Guess Womens Cherita Fabric Low Top Slip On Fashion Sneakers , Hush Puppies Classic Walker Women's Fashion Sneakers White/Cream Size 10M NIB , Saucony Excursion TR8 Womens 10 Running Shoes Gray/Aqua Synthetic Y311 , (A-10 ) Asics FuzeX Rush Women SIZE 9 Running Shoes T768N , FootJoy FJ Summer Series 98756 White Leather Spikes Golf Shoes Women's 8.5 MSuper Cute Bongo Women’s Shoes Black Size 9 , ECCO Casual Bungee Athletic Comfort Minimal Sneakers Women's EURO 36 US 5.5 BlacNIKE ID FREE 5.0 H2O REPEL RUNNING SHOES - BLUE PINK WHITE ( SIZE 5.5 ) WOMEN`S#(H-13) Asics Gel-Fortitude Women SIZE 11 running shoes T5G7NAsics Gel Venture 5 Running Shoe Size 8 Women's Purple Pink Athletic Sneaker , GUESS WOMENS BLUE FASHION ATHLETIC LEATHER TENNIS SHOES SIZE 6-1/2 NWTAsics Gel Impression 2 T9D6N Silver Red Running Walking Shoes Women's Size 7.5 MRyka Womens Elita NRG Low Top Pull On Running Sneaker, Plum/Pink, Size 6.5 UMXz , NEW Women's Juicy Couture High Top Sneakers Chester Black White Size 6 , Converse Unisex Textile Chuck Taylor All, Pink, Size 5 D(M) US Mens / 7 B(M) U j , Women's Skechers? Black / Brown/ Suede/ Leather? Shoes Size 11 , Tony Little? Cheeks Fit Body Grosgrain Ankle Sneaker Boot Gray 10 Womensadidas Women's NEO Cloudfoam White Red Stripes Court Shoe - Size 8 Very Good , Babolat Kompressor Black Pink Womens Athletic Running Tennis Shoes Size 6Skechers Ladies Go Step-Lite Grey Walking Shoes SZ 8 - NIP

“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.

Tommy Hilfiger Women's Failice Natural ballet Flat 9.5MLIZ CLAIBORNE FLEX BROWN SLIP ON OXFORDS SIZE 7 WOMEN'SJapan/Japanese Round Toe School Student Uniform Uwabaki Lolita Cosplay ShoesMunro American Brown Leather and Fabric Oxford Loafers Size 6 1/2 NLavorazione Artigiana Suede Loafer flats size 6.5Naturalizer Jannie Slip On Casual Shoes, Women's Size 8.5M, BlackDr. Scholls Loafer Slip On Red Women Leather Kiltie Tassel Shoe Sz US 7W , Clarks Unstructured Womens Taupe Slip Res Suede Wedge Walking Oxfords Shoes 7.5MWomen's Lifestride, Viva Slip on Loafer DENIM 7.5 M , Skechers Womens Bikers -Fiesta Mary Jane Flat- Select SZ/Color. , Rieker Size 40 US 9/9.5 WOMEN’S Slip On MULES NAVY & BROWN Leather Mule EUCJohnny Was Elysia Platform Espadrilles Womens Shoes Size 38 US 8 EUCWomen Antonio Melani sz 9 M blue leather suede ballerina strap flat sandal shoes , Aerosoles Smart Move Perforated Comfrot Flats, Black, 8 US , Bandolino 25025009 Womens Eloy Ballet Flat- Choose SZ/Color.NIB Eastland ROSALIE 3711 Black Leather Buckle Kiltie Loafers/Shoes sz 6 M NEWASICS Gel Contend 3 Running Shoes White Blue Green Gray Women's Size 6.5All Black Womens Laynee Taupe Fashion Sneakers Shoes 38.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 1675Paul Mayer Women's Luxe Black Suede Ballerina FlatCreative Recreation Women's w Carda Sneaker, Deep Teal, Size 8.0VIONIC Walking Running Sneakers Alliance 1ST RAY Technology WOMENS Size 9.5W , DISNEY MINNIE MOUSE Womens Sneaker Shoes Gray White Polka Dots New In Boxwomens nike shoes size 11 new2016 WMNS Nike Air Force 1 Hi Premium QS SZ 6.5 Bleached Lilac White 654440-500Aerosoles Women's Midpoint Ankle Cuff Sandal Taupe Faux Leather Hook and LoopWomens Adidas PureBoost Chill Running Trainers S79268Under Armour Women's Speedform Slingwrap Sneaker, Bayou Blue (953)/White, 8.5Brooks Ravenna 8 Running Shoes - Women's Size 6 B - Navy , New Balance Womens - DarkGrey Running Shoes Size 10 (359106)NIB! ADIDAS CrazyMove Studio BB1591 Yoga Dance Training Minimalist Shoes - Green

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

Nike Flex Size Sneakers Trainer 4 Women's Running kelvinsi-25586 Cross Fit Athletic Sneakers Size 7 H9 c6e5235 - 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

Nike Flex Size Sneakers Trainer 4 Women's Running kelvinsi-25586 Cross Fit Athletic Sneakers Size 7 H9 c6e5235

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.