Sarah and Michael are Founding Members Class of 2019 and proud Cleveland residents. This power couple met at Shaker Heights High School, where Michael says he fell in love with Sarah the moment he saw her. Sarah is a realtor and Michael is an associate attorney at Taft, Stettinus & Hollister LLP, where he is a member of the litigation team. Both Sarah and Michael are active in their communities. Michael served as the Campaign Director for Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in 2017 and recently helped Matriots endorsed candidates, Julianna Johnston Senturia during her race for Mayor of Shaker Heights.
As Founding Members Class of 2019, why did you both join The Matriots PAC and why do you feel that our work is important?
We both have role models—especially former Shaker Heights City Councilwoman Lynn Ruffner (Mike’s mom)—who played a role in Cuyahoga County politics. We believe that women in elected office are necessary. They provide diversity in thought and leadership. Any organization that puts women elected officials at the forefront is something we must support.
Sarah and Michael, you both have been heavily involved in the Cleveland community, from your perspective what makes Cleveland special?
We were born and raised in this town and we have loved living here. Cleveland is a place full of culture and vigor.
Michael, you’ve been involved in politics most of your life, can you share with our members what you learned from your experiences and what drew you to work in politics?
I caught the political bug early helping on my mother’s campaigns. The number one lesson I have learned about politics is what appears to be going on with the naked eye is not necessarily true. Being one-step ahead of what is actually happening is key.
Sarah, in 2018, The Matriots endorsed our very first class of endorsed candidates. Can you tell our members about a candidate who inspired you and why?
A candidate that inspired me last cycle was Juliana Johnston Senturia, candidate for Mayor of Shaker Heights. And that is not just because my husband ran her campaign! She is a Jewish woman like myself and it was so empowering to see her put herself out there. Regardless of what came up during the election, and it was a tough one, she stayed positive, stayed true to herself and kept working hard until the very end.
Now for something fun! You two recently got married, tell our members how you met and when you knew the other was the person you wanted to spend your life with.
We met at Shaker Heights High School Sarah’s freshman year in 2001. Mike fell in love with her the moment he saw her in the cafeteria that first day. The feeling was finally mutual 10 years later.