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
Trotters 6.5 black leather woven loafer flats, braided, Italian made , Canvas Mary Jane Shoes Metallic Blue Flats Size 9 Navy Blue Shimmery Shoes , CLARKS Neenah Garden Ballet Black Nubuck Patent Tip 12M 44EU slight use in Box , H14 Vince Maxell Sand Leather Slip On Flats Women's Size 9 MMERRELL Black Mary Jane "Plaza Bandeau" Shoes 8.5 womensOriginal Women's Clark's Wallabee Tan Suede Shoes - Size 8 1/2 MediumIvanka Trump Black And white Flat Shoe 7.5 , Alfani Kristine Gold Flats Pointed Toe Size 7 1/2 Medium Leather & PU Upper , TRUE MEANING 8M FINE LEATHER UPPER BALANCE MAN MADE WOMAN'S SHOES , Antonio Melani Shoe Loafer 8M Great Condition Deep Navy EmpireWOMEN'S EASY SPIRIT COMFORT ESJUSTFIELD LEATHER & MESH SHOES SIZE 8 MSAS TRIPAD COMFORT SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 W , Bandolino Women's Size 7.5 Solid Black Casual Buckle Detail Slip On FlatsSperry Top Sider Womens Leather Shoes Size 7.5 **SALE**Women's flat ballet with white dots with pink color39 AGL Attilio Giusti Leombruni Taupe Suede Buckle Slip On Loafers Women Sz 40 M , NEW $29 Womens Crocs Karin Clogs Shoes, size 11 , Easy Spirit Light Brown Leather Upper Slip On Loafers Comfort Shoe Womens 6.5M , P21 Aquatalia Sawyer Burgundy Perforated Suede Penny Loafers Shoes Women Sz 6 MSupremes Women's Beige Leather Comfort Walking Oxfords Size 8.5 NBURGANDY FAUX LIZARD FLATS WITH RUBBER SOLES AND DRAPED FABRIC NEW 10MSt. Johns Bay Womens Size 8 M Black Alligator Print Patent Leather Tassel Loafer , 214 Aquatalia Sawyer Blk /Leopard Calf/Hair Calf Penny Loafers Shoe Women Sz 6.5DANSKOS CAROL LOAFER FLAT BLK SUEDE LEATHER SIZE 9, 9.5 / 40 MEDIUM PRE-OWN , Womens Sperry Top-Sider Black Leather Boat / Deck Shoe Loafer 8.5 MWomen's Black Leather Dr. SCHOLL'S Oil & Slip Resistant Loafers Size 8W GREAT Co , Steven Natural Comfort Lora Embroidered Sneaker Mule OLIVE BEE 9M , LIZ CLAIBORNE BUCKLE TOE GRAY BALLET FLANNEL FLATS WOMEN'S SHOES SIZE 7M , CLARKS ARTISAN black glazed leather ballet low-wedge pumps, size 7M

“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.

RELATIVITY Sarah Tan Leather SLIP ON Shoes Bronze Hardware Womens Loafers 8.5 MAldo Floral Fabric Sneaker Flat Women size 6 m , IKRUSH Womens Blake Canvas Bow Baseball TrainerKeen Cush Howser Womens Shoes Sz 8 Grey Wool Shoes W/Fleece Lining , Cole Haan Women's Tan Leather Suede Driving Loafer Size 6 , French Connection Womens Liya Printed Strappy Espadrilles Sandals BHFO 6445 , Arturo Chiang Loafers Leather Brown Shoes Slip Ons Womens Size 8 M , ECCO Womens Brown Suede Casual Penny Loafer Shoe - Size 11M or 42 EUR , Josef Seibel Leather Shoes 38 Two Tone Brown 7.5 8 Walking Comfort RomaniaRockport Cobb Hill Women's Paulette Red Slip On Shoe Size 7.5 M EXCELLENT!Cole Haan Tali Oxford II White Parchment Patent Leather Suede Wmn Shoe 8B D40292 , Alfani Womens AIDDA Closed Toe Mules, LIGHT GOLD, Size 9.5 , Nike Women's Size 8.5 Athletic Shoes Running Walking Exercise Yoga SneakersU.S. Polo Assn. Artic (Womens) Boot- Choose SZ/Color.Robert Zur Womens Shoes Metallic Bronze/Silver Driving Loafers Flats Sz 6M MO39 , Womens Athletic Shoes Flower Pumps Canvas Purple Youth Girls Vogue Casual SzUnder Armour Womens Charged 24/7 Mid NM Shoe Steel & Grey Size 6.5 M , Nike Free TR Fit Women's Athletic Training Sneaker Shoe Gray Pink, Size 8G By Guess Women's Quilted 10 M Sneakers High-Top Shoes Black BRAND NEWWOMENS NIKE FREE 1.0 CROSS TRAINING SHOES SZ 7.5 M , Dog Print Woman Creeper Shoe High Top Ankle Boot Flat Platform 4 CM Trainers New , New!! Converse All-Star Hyper Magenta Low-top Athletic Shoes!!!(5) , Ladies Size 9.5 2008 Nike Air Prestige Gray/White/Pink Athletic Shoes 318972-011 , Felpa Calvin Klein Manica Lunga Righe Donna Sweater Woman Lines - LWMNS NIKE LUNARGLIDE+ LIGHT GREEN GREY BLUE 366645-341 WOMENS white purple 5 6 7 , ADIDAS WOMENS ENERGY BOOST BURGANDY RED SIZE 8 RUNNING SHOES ART CG3057NIKE WOMENS FREE RN ATHLETIC/RUNNING SHOES [831509 006]adidas Originals Women's ZX Flux W Running Shoe - Choose SZ/Color , Under Armour Women's Micro G Torch 3 Basketball Shoes Black Pink 6.5 35.5 , Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 Womens 10 Green Running Athletic Training Shoes K ,

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

SLIP-ON LOAFER PLATFORM LOAFER WOMEN BLACK LIDDY-2-05 newtomssh-18946 ELEGANT BLACK 56badf6 - 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

SLIP-ON LOAFER PLATFORM LOAFER WOMEN BLACK LIDDY-2-05 newtomssh-18946 ELEGANT BLACK 56badf6

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.