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 Women's Flex Trainer 6 Black/Lava Glow/Anthracite Running Shoe 8.5 US , Nine West Adley 7.5 Flats Metallic Silver Flats Pointed Fashion Work Loafers NewMadden Girl Womens Comicc Fabric Round Toe Loafers Black/ Fabr Size 9.0 NU4HSanuk Womens Donna Hemp Slip Ons Burgundy Size 9 New , Dolce Vita Women's Black Leather Slip On Pointed Toe Flat Clogs US Size 6Gentle Souls Womens Penn Leather Studded Ballet Flat Shoes, Black, US 6 , Skechers Bobs High Jinx Wedge Shoe Black New , Zee Alexis Women's Stella Woven Slip On Shoe Red 40 US 9.5 , Cole Haan Womens GR046 Closed Toe Ballet Flats Peony Size 6.0 , Cole Haan Womens Harvinesam Closed Toe Loafers Strawberry Size 6.0 , Steve Madden Size 5.5 Gold Flats New Womens Shoes , ARRAY Womens Closed Toe Loafers Bone Size 11.0 yQ2GKenneth Cole REACTION Women's Gen-Eral Elastic Straps Leather Black Size 6.0 , Zee Alexis Women's Stella Woven Slip On Shoe Mosaic 38 US 7.5Lenora x Anthropologie Womens Heels Shoes Brown Size 37 NewTORY BURCH blue sparkle REVA flat gold emblem size 7.5 mediumNEW Ahnu SHOES Ballet Flats Ladies 6 37 Maroon Leather $100 RetailBARETRAPS (LACOBY BLACK SLIP ON ) WOMEN"S SIZE 7.5 BRAND NEW!!!! , Nina Womens peppy Fabric Closed Toe Ballet Flats Blue Size 9.5 , Indigo Rd. Womens Hestley Closed Toe Loafers Black Size 7.5 j7qxBibi Lou x Free People Womens Madison Platform Wedge Shoes Black Size 39 NewLucky Brand Womens Echo2 Leather Round Toe Ballet Flats Sesame Size 9.5 foL5FITFLOP Superloafer Women's Size 5 M US Black Nubuck Leather Slide On Clog Shoes , BARE TRAPS Jimina Women Slide Sandals (9M, BLACK)Zee Alexis Women's Stella Woven Slip On Shoe Pewter Bronze 38 US 7.5 , Clarks Daelyn Hill Burgundy Red Nubuck Leather Slip On Shoes 7W NEW , Alfani Women's Ivvey Ankle Strap Platform Evening Sandals Black 9 M , NEW* TEVA Niyama Flat BALLET SHOE WOMENS 7.5 $90 RV Leather , Hush Puppies Burlesque Dark Brown or Black Leather Flats ,

“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 Dark Brown Leather Mules Slip On Womens Size 8 M/W B9408 F3Women's Cute & Comfort Round Toe Flat Slouchy Mid Calf Knee High Boot Size 5- 10New Soho Shoes Women's Lightweight Casual Space Dye Low Top Fashion Sneakers , Women's Sequin Silver Gold Ballet Flats Dancing Shoes Sizes L & XL NewBass Shoes Loafer Mules Size 10M Womens Black Clogs Slip On Leather Low Heels , SAS Tripad Comfort Penny Loafer Moc Toe Slip On US 8 S Women Leather , Thierry Rabotin Black Suede Loafers Flats Size 37 7Naot Footwear Santa Fe Sandal - Women's Size (US 5) - Black *Repair , TOMMY HILFIGER BABBY WOMEN Womens TWBABBY-BLK BLACK MULTI SUEDE Flats SZ-7.5Skechers Women's Savor Sweet MulePewter Leather8 M US , Salvatore Ferragamo Women's Sz 7.5 AA Vara Flats Pewter with Black Bow , SALOMAN CONTRAGRIP WOMENS HIKING TRAIL MID BOOTS~7-7.5BASKETS OKAIDI T35 EN TBE A ACH IMM FP RED AFFAIRE A SAISIR VOIRLadies Breathable Hidden Wedge Mesh Hollow Heel Pull On Loafers Sneakers Shoes , SC35 Nixine Slip On Flats, BlackEasy Street Women's Kana Mule, Camo, 6 2E USSoftWalk Womens Simba Low Top Slip On Fashion SneakersWomen's Nike Dual Fusion Athletic Tennis Shoe Size 8 BlackWomens Girls Bowknot Round Toe Casual Shoes Platform Canvas Creepers Sneakers SZ , adidas Women's Cloudfoam Qt Racer w Running Shoe, Clear Onix/White/Light Onix, 6Bella Vita Women's Ezra Ii Fashion SneakerCalvin Klein Women's Inca Slip On Sneakers Black Stretchy Knit Size 9.5 MNike Flex 2016 RN Women's Running Shoe 830751 001 Size 8.5 , 'Freedom Unicorn' Running Shoes (Men/Women)-Free ShippingNike Women's Air Zoom Structure 19 Shoes 806584 001 Black/White, New /defectEddie Bauer Womens Hgihline Trail Shoe 6129-443 Chome Color- Wmn Sz10M US Eur 41Womens Softwalk Health Glide Shoes Light Brown Nubuck Leather Size 6.5 MAUTHENTIC Saint Laurent Canvas Slip In Sneaker Size 7 , ASICS GT-1000 6 Running Shoes - Women's Size 7.5 - Navy , Women's Platform Embroider Hollow out Slip on Canvas Sneakers Shoes

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

Ecco Toe Light Comfort Women Brown Split Toe Comfort Split Loafer Slip On Shoe Shock Proof c2ca715 - 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

Ecco Toe Light Comfort Women Brown Split Toe Comfort Split Loafer Slip On Shoe Shock Proof c2ca715

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.