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
NEW Womens SODA OBJECT GRAY Flats Slip On Loafers Shoes SZ 7 , Cole Haan Women's Pinch America Leather Loafers, Burgundy, Size 8 B , IKRUSH Womens Tessi Chunky Arched Sport Trainer , Clarks Gaberly Panama Strap Casual Shoe, Brown, Leather, Womens 6.5Born Women's Black Leather Block Heel Clogs Size US 10Steve Madden Women's Ballet Flats P-Heaven Beige 5.5M , URBAN OUTFITTERS Women's Green Slip-On Shoes Size 7Shades of Dark Brown Swirly Embossed B.O.C. Born Concept Clogs 7.5 WAudrey Brooke Women's Shoes Sz Us 8/Eur 39 Black Suede Slip On Pointed Toe Flats , VANELi 1" Sandal Faux Snake Skin fits as 9.5M Ebony and CreamENZO ANGIOLINI Black Velvet Quilted Loafers Size 10 M , Talbots Womens Beige White Suede Casual Loafer Boat Deck Shoes Size 8 , Nautica Sneakers Boat Shoes Size 7 Black Textile uppers White Rubber Sole NWOT , Lady Girls Chic Fashion Gold Shoes Heel Sandals Slipper Size Comfortablewomens worthington pennie purple pointed toe slip on flats shoes size 7Womens Mexican Handmade Leather HUARACHES Sandals Sandalias Mujer MEXICO 3TIRASMarc By Marc Jacobs Black Patent Leather Square Toe Ballet Flats Size 36 6 , 143 GIRL PANNA CROCHET FASHION FLATS NUDE SYNTHETIC IMPORTED US SIZE 7.5 MEDIUMTalbots brown snake embossed leather studded ballet flats sz 6.5EASY SPIRT SHOES WOMENS SIZE 6 1/2 M ESALENAWomen's Merrell Suede Mary Janes US 6 Sz Xcelent shape!Minnetonka Womens Limited Edition Canvas Moc - Lime Size 6SPERRY TOP-SIDER GRAY SHOES WOMENS SIZE 9 1/2 MSperry Top Sider Women's Boat Deck Shoes Size 8 M Brown Slip OnBreckelles Abby-21 Women Metallic Leatherette Round Toe Ballet FlatBASS "EDDIE" Black OXFORD LEATHER SHOES LADIES US 11 med NEW , CLARKS COLLECTION *BLANCHE ROUND-TOE FLATS* BRONZE w/BUCKLE DETAIL - LADIES 8MCole Haan Womens Brown Woven Slip On Flat Leather Loafers Sz 7B F3137 , Jones New York Women's Low Heel Loafer Black Kid Suede Animal Print SZ 7 Mint ,

“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 MIA GIRL PLAY TAUPE/GREEN Slip On Flats Loafers Shoes sz 6 , Women’s Rock And Candy Shoes Size 10 Womens Loafers Great ConditionNew Womens Denim Ripped Slip On Flat Low Heel Sequined Pumps Fashion SneakersEnzo Angiolini Black Floral Ballet Flats Black Suede Leather G SZ 9.5 M 9.5M , Rajasthani Women Blue wedge Sandals Ethnic S Flip Flops Casual Shoe Flat SlipperBlack Aldo Ballerina Flats Size 10Rangoni shoes womens size 7B black leather loafers slip on Made in Italy clogsBrinley Co Women's Data Ballet Flat Grey Size 8.5 , NEW Aerosoles Betunia Women's Black Loafers Size 6.5 W Sequins loafers $69 , SPRING STEP WOMEN'S FERRARA WORK SHOES PATENT MULTI LINE ART SIZE 7 1/2 MWomen Olympia Kitty Cat Flats Loafers Charlotte Backless Mules Slip On Shoes , Talbots 5.5 Shoes Slip On Flats Slide On Tassel Brown Leather , Easy Spirit Alani Navy/ Navy Fabric Womens Slip-On Size 8.5M , Roper Performance Women’s Tan Leather Slip On Loafers/Shoes Size 7 $75Asics GT?1000 v5 Running Shoes- Women's 10- Black ((*REPAIR*))New Women's Shoes Breathable Fashion Sneaker Summer Ankle Boots Flat TrainersAsics T4H7N Gel Kayano 21 Black Women Size 11 Running Shoes H2 , DC Womens Skateboard Shoes High Top Sneakers Size 10 Multi Colored , Ladies Size 9.5 2007 NIKE COURT FORCE Low Sneakers White Gray OrangeASICS GEL LYTE III WOMEN'S SIZE 10 SHOES EPOCWomen's Nike Air Max+ 2011 Dark Gray Moon Blue Running Sneakers (7.5) 429890-043 , NIB Women New Balance 411 Trail 412 450 Trainer Venture Shoes B & D Width , New Nike 684765 Women's Downshifter 6 Running Shoe sz 6Brooks Launch 4 Shoes Women's Black/Purple/Blue/Pink Size 9 Custom Gel Inserts , Women's Adidas Originals Stan Smith White Shoes Color Shifting S76666 , NIKE SAMPLE Air Max Thea US WMNS SZ 7 [807385-700] Multi-Color , Steven By Steve Madden Garnet Leather SneakerWomen's Skechers Spirited Sneaker Black / White Size 7 #NG4EC-128Brooks Ariel 14 Womens Size 7.5 B Running Training Shoes Blue Medium D2Ryka Running Womens Encore Shoe- Pick SZ/Color. ,

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

Womens MEXICO Mexican Handmade Leather HUARACHES HUARACHES Sandals Sandalias Leather Mujer MEXICO SUECO 824f5d9 - 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

Womens MEXICO Mexican Handmade Leather HUARACHES HUARACHES Sandals Sandalias Leather Mujer MEXICO SUECO 824f5d9

Current office held: None

Previous offices held: None

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

Sandals

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.