Cheryl Munson, an assistant scientist in IU’s anthropology department, will be officially appointed Friday to run in Sophia Travis’ place for the Monroe County Council.
Travis, who suffered from a heart condition, died at about 11 p.m. Sept. 19 in her home on Fluck Mill Road.
“While sharing our grief over the tragedy of Sophia Travis’ passing, Democrat friends asked me to consider filling her spot on the ballot,” Munson wrote in a Wednesday post on the Monroe County Democrats’ website. “No one can ever take Sophia’s place, but I am willing to take on this short campaign for the County Council as my way to honor her and to serve.”
Munson called the next month a “short campaign” and she wants to promote transparency in government issues before Election Day.
Munson served on the Indian Creek Township Board in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. She has also worked with the Monroe County Historic Preservation Board, Monroe County Plan Review Committee, Monroe County Extension Advisory Board and county council’s Community Services Grants Committee.
In her online announcement, Munson called herself a community and environmental advocate. She said in the late 1980s she collected data to promote a safe, environmentally sensible route for a highway being planned that would cut across Monroe County. That highway was eventually called I-69.
“Now, 24 years later, I’m still speaking out about the highway’s safety issues and impacts on our county’s historic districts,” Munson said. “Dedication is the cornerstone of my public service.”
Munson said the cornerstones of her campaign are to tend to financial responsibilities, preserve valuable natural resources and guide growth in public safety, transportation and other areas in the community.
Munson left her anthropology lab Thursday night for her first public campaign event, the candidates’ forum at Hutton Honors College titled “Why Local Government Matters to Students.” The event was sponsored by the Political and Civic Engagement Program, Department of Political Science, Hutton Honors College and IU Student Association.
Munson said she appreciated the forum because she could talk to students.
“I will replace Sophia Travis’ name on the ballot,” Munson said at the forum. “I will not replace Sophia Travis.”