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
$32 Crocs Womens Taylor Slingback Flat Shoes, Oyster, US 8 , IKRUSH Women's Devlin Chunky PomPom Slip On Trainers Size in Black Size 6Mocassin Chaussure Bateau Femme Simili Peau Semelle Intérieur Cuir Pierre-cedricNATURAL SOUL BY Naturalizer BLACK SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 1/2 MRajasthani Women Blue wedge Sandals Ethnic S Flip Flops Casual Shoe Flat Slipper , Bob Baker Women’s Size 8.5N Flats Shoes Tassel x36Rialto Shirlee Flats Women's Size 8.5 M, Champagne PRE OWNED D6202 , FRANCO SARTO BROWN SUEDE LOAFER SLIP ON 7.5MStyle & Co. Womens Angelynn Closed Toe Slide FlatsLadies Black Leather EZYWALKIN Flats AUS Size 6 Moccasins Cut Out , Rene By Ara Loafer Heels Womens US Size 6 G Silver LeatherCLARKS LIGHT BROWN LEATHER MULE CLOG SHOE SZ 7M MADE IN BRAZIL , BASS Womens US Sz 7 M Mary Jane Shoe Camel / Tan Suede Side BuckleBjorndal Slip on Mule Clog Sandal Brown Leather Womens Size 9 , ollio Womens Shoes Mesh Glitter Water-Drop Pattern Ballet Flat , Selby Shoes Black Slip On Moc Loafer Size 5.5 M , New Women Betani Abela-7 Faux Suede Pointy Toe d'Orsay Ballerina Flat , NO BOUNDARIES BLACK MULES SHOES WOMENS SIZE 7 1/2Sweet Beauty Cheetah Animal Print Faux Fur Pointed Toe Flats Womens 7 Slip On , JOEL PARKER Shoes 7.5AAAA Brown Leather Low Heels Loafers Slip Ons Made ItalyWomen's Sequin Ballet Flats Shoes in Black Gold Silver Sizes 37-40 NewRALPH LAUREN - BLACK CROC-GRAIN LEATHER LOGO-BUCKLE LOAFERS - LADIES 6B , Rieker Celia Sz / US 6 Antistress Slip On Loafer Distressed Leather ShoesNEW Gola Ignite Ballerinas Shoes. (Great Deal) 2 Pair for $16.99 Size 6 U.SSkechers Womens Shoes Size 7 Relaxed Bikers Chocolate Brown Memory Foam 48930Nine West Women's Size 6 1/2 Brown Backless LoafersNaturalizer Womens Shoes Brown Faux Leather Booties 3" Heels Size 9.5MIndian Traditional Flat Sandal Women's Black Handmade Ethnic Ladies SlippersJUSTFAB Rodgie Black Studded Spike Pointed Toe Ballet Flats WOMEN'S 8.5/39

“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.

New Womens Glossy Sport Shiny Side Zips Stretch Slip On Fashion Casual Sneakers , ROCKET DOG Womens Brown Plaid Slip on Flats Shoes Size 8M , Red Justfab Tie Up Flats 7.5 new without boxDansko Oksana Women Shoes Flats Grey Cheetah Hair Calf Size 36 (US 5.5-6)Softspots Size 9N Amena Slip On Flats Canvas Shoes Womens , Ladies Merrell Arabesque Walking Shoe Espresso Brown Suede Leather US 9.5 EU40.5Franco Sarto L Baylor Womens 9.5 M Black Slip On Loafer Brown Low Heel MSRP $99 , MARNI Off-White Patent Leather Ballet Style Flats Women's Italy 36.5 , Women's Skechers Mules - Synergy-Air Streamer - Black/Multi - New!Marc Fisher Womens NWOB Beyond Black Flats Shoes 6 MED NEW , Aerosoles Main Dish Penny Loafers, Dark Silver MetalBasic Editions Tan Corbin Mary Janes with Memory Foam - Women's Size 7 , Voi Jeans Bronson Original Womens Designer Retro Casual Plimsoll Pumps Burgundy , Soft Style Denise Flat Loafers - Women's Size 10N - Washed Sand Denim , Skechers Performance GOWalk 4 Pursuit Slip On Sneakers, Women's Size 9, NavyUnder Armour Lax Finisher MC Womens Size 8.5 White Lacrosse Cleats Shoes ZV-444 , Nike Women's Court Lite Tennis Shoes White Leather Sz 6.5US-EU37.5Womens Hip Hop Sneakers High Top Patent Leather Street Sports Shoes Flat Fashion , Nike Roshe One Women's Running Shoes Size 8.5 , Skechers Work ATSP Slip Resitant Women's Blue/Black Athletic Shoes 9MNew! A.S. 98 Multi Colored Leather Inside Wedge Sneaker W/Zelcro Fastener , Women's GEL MOVIMENTUM NOIR OR Durable Service Athletic Shoes , Skechers 14918W Performance Womens Go Walk 4-Gifted Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color. , Skechers BOBS Women's Squad-Star Chase Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Low Women's Shoes, 820256 004 Size 6.5 NEW , Nike Women's Air Vapor Ace Athletic Tennis Shoes Hyper Pink/Grey/White , MNX15 Women's Elevator Shoes SPOTTY BLACK Height Increase 5cm by FedEx Fast Ship , VANS Authentic (Neon Lights) Western Black Classic WOMEN'S 8 , Used Nike Womens Air Huarache Run Running Shoes 634835-012 Triple Black sz 5Vans Authentic (Zebra Glitter) Hot Pink/Black Skate Shoes Men's 9 Women's 10.5 ,

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


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


Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

Education: Associate degree in computer networking from Ivy Tech, 1995 graduate of Columbus North High School


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.