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
Rocky 4EurSole White Patent Leather 3 in 1 Work Nurse Comfort Clog Shoe NEWAdam Tucker Womens Nikki Leather Closed Toe Ballet Flats, BlKNAP, Size 8.0 WoS4 , SAS Womens Shoes Size 11 Genuine Handsewn USA Leather Moccasin comfort workJutti Designer Women Shoes Dabka Mojari Indian Leather Flip-Flops Flat US 6-9Hot Chocolate Design Chocolaticas Dark Butterfly Unique Mary Janes Womens Size 7 , Clarks Collection 16180 Cushion Casual Stitched Slip on Flats Women Brown US 8WNautica Womens Norwich Oxford Canvas Closed Toe OxfordsNEW WOMEN SPERRY LEATHER TOP SIDER 71/2M ANGELFISH BEIGE BOAT SHOESJBU by JAMBU Wildflower Wo's 8M Black Mary Jane Comfort Shoe Cut Out FlowersWhite Mountain Womens Saint Closed Toe Oxfords , NEW Fieramosca & Co ITALY black leather Flat Loafer Shoe Women Ladies 6Natural Soul Naturalizer Slip on Leather Shoes Cajan Oxford Brown 8 Med Career , Women Braided T-Strap Open Shank Oxford Flat Casual Flats Low Block Heel Shoes , Women Ralph Lauren 7 Cassady Tassel Driving Moccasin Shoes Flats Purple Leather , Marc Fisher Womens Marcia Tan Casual Shoes Sneakers 10 Medium (B,M) BHFO 1254 , GUESS Women's Gill Ballet Flat, Red, Size 9.5 , Lauren Ralph Lauren Women's Brown Leather Moccasin Shoe Gold Medallian SZ 6.5US FLIP FLOPS PUNJABI JUTTI KHUSSA SHOES BRIDAL SHOES JAIPURI MOJARI JOOTI DD967Fashion ladies leather ankle heels boots gradiator women spring autumn shoesKeds Womens Kickstart Black Casual Shoes Sneakers 9 Medium (B,M) BHFO 1026 , A456 NATURALIZER JOYCE SLIP ONS KHAKI GOLD BAR 9US NEWDr Martens Womens Size 7 () Brown Buckle Mary Jane Shoes in EUCMINNETONKA Double Deer Deerskin Leather Soft Sole Moccasins Women's Sz. 7 , Skechers BOBS Womens Plush Lite-Geometric Flat- Select SZ/Color. , NEW Nine West Oriao Gray Bow Sneakers Slip On Size 12 Casual , Ladies Leather Shoes Cherry Brandi Flower Detail Size 5-9 Hook & LoopBN J B MARTIN ORANGE PATENT LEATHER BOW BALLET PUMPS / SHOES /EU36/US 5 , US 6 - 10 Khussa shoes mojari shoes punjabi jutti Indian shoes jooti juti DD426 , Mephisto Womens Mary Jane Sneaker Casual Loafer Flats Leather Copper Sz. 8.5

“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.

SC35 Lizzie Pointed Toe Studded Slip On Flats 255, Zinc/Khaki, 7.5 USWomen's Taupe Leather Slingback Pumps BRUNO MAGLI Peep toe Sz 9.5, Made in ItalyWomen's Mephisto Brown Leather / Suede Loafers with Heels US 7REBELS WOMEN'S HYPER FASHION CASUAL/DRESS FLATS SHOES,LEOPARD,US MEDIUM,NEWThe Sak Women's Echo Feather Ballet Flat Black Feather Size 8.0 , All butter soft leather light gray loafers Mocs by Fieramosca &Co Italy 8 MCole Haan Womens Oxford Wingtip Yellow Snakeskin Shoes Size 10.5 , REBA-22B-05 WOMEN TWEED SLIP-ON SNEAKER QUPID BLACKBrunswick Bowling Shoes Women's Size 5.5 White Non Marking Sole AthleticMary Janes sz Rhinestone Womens Low Heel Pointed Heel Suede Casual Sandals ShoesAerosoles Women's Flower Girl Ballet Flat,, Black Exotic, Size 8.5 LgNWWomens REEBOK DMX RIDE TRAIN Textile Black Training Trainers J90023 , Clarks Active Air women's 8 D suede walking shoes gray comfort , Propet XV550 Women's Black/Pink Athletic Shoe 6M , Treksta Kobra Women's Gray Green Boa Lacing System Hiking Trail Shoes - US 7VTG 90s Tommy Hilfiger Blue Bling T Sneakers Canvas Slip On Mule Shoes Sz 5 1/2 , NEW $69 Womens Saucony Grid Seeker running shoes, size 11Women's New Balance 806 ALL TERRAIN Hiking Training Running Tennis Shoes Sz 10.5 , ASICS Womens Gel-Challenger White Silver Powder Blue Tennis Shoe Size 8.5G by Guess Opall High Top Sneakers Women's Shoes GoldFabric Size 10MPuma Trinomic XT-1 Blur 1 - Blue - Womens , Womens Saucony Liteform Series Black Running Shoes Size 10M (C911)Brooks Heritage Regent Sneaker - Women's Size 8.5 M, Black/Gold (Repair)Women's Vans Women's Sk8-Hi Orders Are Welcome Athletic ShoesNew Balance Women's 300 Indigo Pack Lifestyle Fashion Sneaker Pigment/Sea Sal... , High Quality Fashion Women Boots Five Nights At Freddy's Martin Boots For GirlAltra A26442 9M Provision 2.5 blue green womens ladies running tennis shoesNike Revolution 4 Womens Running Shoes black/black 908999 002 Fast Shipping , VANS CAMRYN SLIM NATIVE TAOSE TAUPE OMBRE BLUE MIDTOPS VN00SDVG1G WOMEN'S SIZE 5PROPET BEIGE LEATHER SPORT SANDALS SLINGBACK STRAPPY DRESS SHOES WOMENS SZ 7 N

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

Sperry Top Espadrilles Sider 26496 Shoes Flats Pink 6.5 Green Cream Plaid Cloth Espadrilles Size 6.5 M 63adb77 - 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

Sperry Top Espadrilles Sider 26496 Shoes Flats Pink 6.5 Green Cream Plaid Cloth Espadrilles Size 6.5 M 63adb77

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.