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
Womens 7.5 N Rockport Navy blue Leather Comfort Slip-On Shoes Wedge heel , Wanted Mari Mary Jane Ballet Flats 448, Black Patent, 7 US / 37 EU , Tory Burch Womens Metallic Gold Ballerina Ballet Leather Flats Shoes Sz 7New Women Black Tan White FV83 Strappy Woven Mary Jane Flat Sandals 6 to 10 , ENERGEL STONEFLY WOMEN'S ORANGE LEATHER/RED SUEDE SANDALS 39-8 1/2 , Authentic Tory Burch Logo Ballet Flats size 7-7.5MFree People Solitaire Flat Women's Pointy Toe Flat SZ 9.5SIZE 7M, BLACK SUEDE, UNISA LOAFERS, LOW HEEL, SLIDE ON, BUCKLE ACCENT , Bass Womens Giovanna Glossy Leopard Print Casual Dress Shoes Gold Glossy Size 9 , B-04s New Women Fashion Small square toe Ballet Flats Shoes US 5.5-10 , SheSole Womens Ballet Flats Ankle Strap Wedding Bridal Prom ShoesShellys London Womens Abeniel Canvas Round Toe Loafers Gray Size 9.0 PfLQ , dimmi Women's Stretch Flat,Orange Weave,5.5 M USSoles BY PAIGE Black with White Spirals Needlepoint Ballet Flats Womens Size 8M , Cole haan slip on shoes size 5.5 womens shoes size 5.5 , crocs Crocs Womens Walu II Canvas Loafer- Select SZ/Color , Report Black Suede Feel Pointy Toe Strappy Ankle Flats Women's Size 7 'Thumper' , Lamo Women's Akira Moccasin, Beige, 5 M US , ENZO ANGIOLINI Black Leather Loafer SIZE 7.5 M EA Flexo Made in BrazilLands End Mary Jane Ballet Flat Sneaker Women Size 8 Canvas Beige SportUnlisted Women's Whole Number Ballet Flat, Black, 8.5 M US , Report Women's Maaka Ballet Flat, Black, 6.5 M USVelo Women's Brown Suede Moccasin Loafers Shoes Size 39 US 8.5New Women AD2S Black Taupe Vegan Suede Mary Jane Ankle Strap Ballet FlatsNew Women FV82 Black White Tan Brown Mary Jane Ankle Strap Ballet Flats Sandalscrocs Crocs Womens Super-Molded Ballet Flat,Bronze,3 M USNew Women OCyb4 Black Rose Gold Blush Quilted Slip On Platform SneakersDr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Result Flat, Black Microfiber, 7 M US , Shenn Boys Dark Brown Suede Leather Loafer Flats 4

“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.

CHINESE LAUNDRY Black Flats sz 9.5 M Maisie Style Double BucklesEUC BORN WOMENS BLACK SUEDE CLOGS SHOES SIZE 9 40.5 , NEW WOMEN'S ISAAC MIZRAHI LIVE! "I'M FIONA" BLACK SUEDE SHOES -NWOB-NEW SHOESWomen's Skechers Slip-on Side Strap Brown Comfort Walking Shoes-8.5 , STUART WEITZMAN SIZE 7 1/2 M BROWN VENTILATED SUEDE FLEX RUBBER SOLES SHOESNATURALIZER ivory leather sandal velcro closure shoe - size 9MNEW SKECHERS GO WALK 3 REVIVE WOMENS COMFORTABLE CASUALSHush Puppies ~ Suede ~ Shoes ~ Black ~ Heels ~ Walking ~ Work ~ ExcellentIvanka Trump Silver Rhinestone Pointed Toe Ballet Flats Woman Shoes Size 7USDr. Scholl's Imagine Pointed Toe Loafers, Greige, 6 US / 36 EUSKECHERS SPORT SHOES WOMENS SIZE 9 , Nine West Shoes Size 9.5 M Womens New Jayson Dark Brown Suede Oxfords , D22- Nike Lunartempo Running Gray Shoes Size 7Mizuno 10M Wave Inspire 10th Anniversary white red yellow running womens shoes , BROOKS Glycerin 11 Womens Size 6.5 RN 1201371B813 Pink & SilverMarc Fisher Womens Dexie Suede Low Top Slip On Fashion, Light Pink, Size 9.5 N28SKECHERS Womens Sz 10 W Extra Wide Walking Athletic Sneakers Shoes White (F10) , New OTBT Womens Normcore White Fashion Shoes Size 8.5Women's running shoes women Various Styles Athletic ShoesWomen's new balance 574 women 6 Wide Varieties Athletic ShoesNew Womens Nike Lunarepic Flyknit Run Running Shoes 823114-100 sz 9.5 Gyakusou , NIKE W WOMEN'S ROSHE ONE 1 DBM 807460-001 DIAMONDBACK TRIPLE BLACK DS SIZE: 12New Womens Size 11 Merrell Solo Casual Walking Shoes Vertiver Green OrangeVans Sk8 Hi Slim Bananas Ballerina True White Shoes Size Men 7.5 Women 9 , Vibram Fivefingers Bikila Barefoot Running Shoes Grey/Green sz 38 US 7-7.5Skechers Sport Womens Orbit Flying Fleet Fashion Sneaker- Pick SZ/Color.Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Off White Womens TrainersMens PUMA Suede Emboss Pale Khaki-Gum U.S. Size 10.5 , New Balance W860SB3 W860-V3 Silver Stability Marathon Running Shoes Women's 6.5mizuno wave rider womens running shoes. Super comfortable

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

LL Bean wool shearling lined brown moccasin suede womens LL slipper slipper moccasin slide Sz 11M 08dab51 - 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

LL Bean wool shearling lined brown moccasin suede womens LL slipper slipper moccasin slide Sz 11M 08dab51

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.