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 Zoom Rival S Women’s Running Track Field Spikes 806558 401 Blue Size 8.5Nike Air Zoom Odyssey Running Shoes, Women's Size 10.5Women's MBT Sport 03 Leather Casual Toning Walking Rocker Shoes SZ US 7.5 , Skechers Women's SUPER-CUP 12870 White/Silver Memory Foam Brand NewNew Balance Women's 623 SG Suregrip Work Grey Suede Sneakers Size 6 , New Balance 590v2 Running Shoes W590AH2 Salmon Pink Lime Green Blue Womens 8.5 M , Twisted X Boots Women's WDM0055 Slip On , Under Armour Micro G Assert IV Womens Running Training Shoes Size 6 Gray PinkAwesome MERRELL performance women's slip on shoes, size 9 gray/blue/light greenNIKE FLEX SUPREME TR 5 W WOMEN`S SHOES TRAINING RUNNING ATHLETIC NEW SZ 6VANS Authentic Lo Pro Strawberry Pink/True White VN-0XRNGY7 WOMEN'S 9.5 , Asics GT-2000 Running Shoes Silver/Green/Blue Women's US Size 8 (C1,14) , NEW WITH BOX NIKE WOMEN'S FLEX ADAPT TR TRAINING SHOES 831579 006 SIZE 8 , SKECHERS EZ Flex 3.0 Size 7 Wild N’ Free Gray Memory Foam Slip-On Shoes $60 NEWWomen's J Sport Essex - Dark Grey/Petal - Width: med - Slip Ons , Women's Fila Escalight Running Shoe Pink Size 7 #NKCAB-724 , Asics Gel Contend 3 Womens Running Training Shoes Size 7.5 Blue Pink Turquoise , NWOB Women's Puma 362594-05 Suede Classic Badge Sneakers Size us 5 , Skechers Shape-ups Black Leather Mesh Hook & Loop Adjustable Strap Size 8 , ASICS Womens Gt-2000 Silver/Turquoise/LimePunch Running Shoes Size 7 (366734)Merrell Womens - Pink Running Shoes Size 8.5 (429801)Asics B257N Gel Rocket Volleyball Court Shoes Sneakers White Red Silver US Sz 6WOMEN'S/MEN'S/UNISEX SHOES ADIDAS NEW WITHOUT BOX MADE IN VIETNAMConverse Chuck Taylor All Star High Top Canvas Women Shoes M9006 -Pink/Wht 13.5 , Brooks size 7B Transcend 2 Teal womens ladies tennis running athletic shoes , Nike Flex Bijoux Womens Running Training Shoes Size 9.5 Blue WhiteNike Free TR 6 Womens Athletic Running Training Shoes Size 7.5 Gray BlueWomen's Skechers You Rise - Taupe - Width: med - Fashion SneakersAdidas Cloudfoam Womens Running Shoes Size 9 Black White Excellent Ships Fast

“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 LATTE BROWN Buckle Loafers 6 by A. MARINELLI Made in Spain Shoes HeelsWomen Casual Moccasins Real Leather Loafers Slip On Ballet Flats Slippers Shoes , Ladies Down To Earth Style F3100-W , Soda Amity - S Women's Gold Shimmer Loafers / Shoes , $130 size 7 Ivanka Trump Lama Pewter Leather Flat Loafers Womens Shoes , Jessica Simpson Womens Maggda Ankle Sheer Ballet Flats Shoes BHFO 6449All Black Footwear SZ 37 US 6 Furman Sneaker Black Leather $179 Retail FlawEarth Women's Elderberry Leather Slip-On Mini Wedges Bark Size 11D , Sas Jewel Ring Moc Loafer Slip On Shoe Black Leather 9.5 N TripadAGL BEAUTIFUL BLACK LEATHER BALET FLAT SHOES MADE IN ITALY SZ 38.5 EUCSTELLA CADENTE BALLERINES SALLY EN CUIR DE VACHETTE NOIR POINTURE 39Converse Women Gemma Charcoal Hi-Top Winter Knit Casual Sneakers NWOB Size US 7Walking Cradles Women's Caden Clog - Choose SZ/ColorA.P.C. APC Madras Red Suede Peep Toe Open Flats 41 9.5 $250 , DESTOCKAGE @ SNEAKERS / BASKETS FEMME MARQUE PUMA @ MODELE AVILA @ 40 @ NEUF !!VANS Fashion Sneakers Purple Textile Women9Medium (B, M)Chaco Outcross Evo Mary Jane Hiking Water Shoe Sandal Black Gray Womens Size 7 , New Balance 574 WL574BPP Running Sneaker EnCap US 11 B Women , Ed Hardy TRUE LOVE Women's Bret Wedge Heel Shoe Sneakers Tattoo Canvas Size 9 MPuma Power Trainer Ombre - Pink - Womens , Merrell Grassbow Women Sport Navy Blue Athletic Hiking Sneaker Shoes Size 10 EUC , Nike Wmns Air Force 1 One AF1 Flyknit Mid Enamel Green 818018-301 Womens , adidas SWIFT RUN Pink - Womens - Size 6.5 B , Nike Womens oceania Chilling Red **RARE**Nike Free TR 6 Print Flyknit Training Running Shoes Women 6 Black 833424 100 NEWReebok BD5758 Womens Club c 85 Syn Fashion Sneaker- Choose SZ/Color.Puma Womens Fenty by Rihanna Riri Black Hi By Fenty 19039801 Athletic ShoesSKECHERS Memory Foam Athletics Shoes Women’s Size 6 Black Cow Suede , Adidas Performance Women's Speed Trainer 2 W Training Shoe Size 10 NWBVANS Authentic (Tie Dye) Rose/Violet Skate Shoes WOMEN'S 8

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

L.L Women bean L.L kelvinsi-20633 Women Blue Active Hiking shoes.Size 9M 7aaefe9 - 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

L.L Women bean L.L kelvinsi-20633 Women Blue Active Hiking shoes.Size 9M 7aaefe9

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.