Sara truly cares. She has decades of experience in advocacy, both personal and professional, and wants to put them to work for the good people of the 62nd district as your representative in the House of Delegates. She is deeply committed to our community and will fight to make sure your government is working for YOU.
Hailing from the Midwest and largely raised by a single mother who struggled with mental health challenges, Sara Ratcliffe saw from a young age what it means when government fails to meet the needs of its citizens.
The experience of growing up in a community where families struggled to make ends meet, and where parents regularly chose between paying a doctor’s bill or putting food on the table, instilled in Sara a lifelong calling to look out for people whose voices are often not heard in government.This commitment to public service can be seen throughout her life and harkens back to her family’s roots in rural Nebraska and Illinois, and her upbringing in the outskirts of Chicago and central Ohio.
Sara is a lifelong caretaker and channels her energy into fighting for those in need.
From a very early age, Sara helped care for her mom as she found her way through mental illness and other chronic health conditions until her death at age 59. Later, when her dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, she became his primary caregiver and advocate as they navigated a broken and confusing health system not designed for those whose treatment needs didn’t fit the usual.
Finally, during the pandemic, at age 89, Sara’s mother-in-law came to live with her and her husband. Sara was able to help her find healthcare and options during scary and uncertain times.
Sara has 30 years of political experience that she will use to work for you. She knows how to advocate for her community and get things done.
Sara earned a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Political Science with a concentration in U.S. domestic policy. Afterwards, she began her career as staff to U.S. Senator J. James Exon and as a research assistant to a noted political author and broadcaster, Elizabeth Drew. Sara continued working in renowned organizations on issues including women’s health and tobacco control policy where she developed expertise in advocating for those in marginalized communities.
She also has worked on numerous local, state, and national campaigns beginning in 1988, before she herself was eligible to vote. A highlight of her campaign career was working in Virginia and Pennsylvania to elect President Barack Obama in 2008.
Throughout her 30 years of experience, Sara worked closely with state, local, and national legislators, to ensure that everyone is empowered to determine their own success.
A Virginia resident for two decades, in 2016, Sara and her husband Joe bought their dream home in Greene County, where they fell in love with the beauty of Central Virginia, the warmth of this community, and the history woven into daily life. Her family and her community mean everything to Sara, which drove her to seek public office in the 62nd district.
Today, Sara and Joe spend time enjoying nature and being grateful for the blessings bestowed on them, including a son who recently began studying at JMU. When not occupied with their two Boston Terriers, Rufus and Elmer, Sara believes being a part of the community across the 62nd district is elemental to her nature. She is active with local community organizations, helps bolster Democratic candidates across the region, and sings with the Blue Ridge Chorale of Culpeper.
If you see Sara in the grocery store, say hi! She loves catching up with her neighbors and learning more about what’s going on in their lives and what is important to them.