Sandy O'Brien was born in Cleveland in 1951. She divided her pre-teen years between Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood where she lived until she was five and Willoughby in Lake County where she attended Immaculate Conception Grade School through grade five. Sandy lived in her father's hometown of Uniontown, Pennsylvania from ages ten to thirteen. In 1964, Sandy's parents returned to Northeast Ohio and settled in the Geauga County community of Bainbridge. Sandy graduated from Kenston High School, where she was an outstanding student and was heavily involved in extra-curriculars. It was at Kenston where Sandy, a cheerleader, met and fell in love with her classmate Pat O'Brien, beginning a lifetime partnership.
Sandy attended Bowling Green State University, where she graduated with honors earning a Bachelors' Degree in Education in 1973. Sandy married Pat that summer and the O'Brien's settled in the rural Ashtabula County community of Pierpont, where they ran a small farm while beginning their careers - Pat in his family's business, Sandy as an elementary school teacher.
When Pat and Sandy's son Casey was born two years later, Sandy put her career on hold to become a full-time Mother. Three other children followed in quick succession - daughter Colleen and sons Connor and Corey. Even with her new responsibilities, Sandy found time to continue her education, earning a Master's Degree in School Administration from Edinboro University in l984. An active member of the Ohio Farm Bureau, Sandy served as a Board Member and Membership Chairman for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau, a member of Ashtabula County's Ohio State Extension Board, and a spokesperson for the American Soybean Association.
The O'Brien's also began their involvement in politics during these years. Pat O'Brien became the Republican Party Chairman in heavily Democratic Ashtabula County and was a member of the Ashtabula County Board Of Elections for nearly two decades. Casey O'Brien has followed his parents into the political arena, serving as a member of the Republican State Central Committee from 2002-2004.
By 1986, all of the O'Brien children had reached school age, and Sandy decided to return to the classroom, this time teaching Junior High School in the Ashtabula City School District. In 1988, the O'Brien's left Pierpont and bought a farm in Lenox, 20 miles South of Ashtabula.
Sandy enjoyed teaching and was greatly loved by her students, but by 1994 she was ready for a career change. Pat challenged her with an unlikely suggestion - run against Ashtabula County Democrat Auditor Dan Ross, a 20 year incumbent. Sandy accepted the challenge, combining an effective media campaign with a powerful grass-roots effort in which Sandy personally visited over 10,000 Ashtabula County households. On November 8, 1994, Sandy O'Brien defeated Dan Ross in one of the biggest upsets in Ashtabula County's political history. In spite of fierce efforts to defeat her, Sandy was re-elected in 1998 and 2002.
Sandy's service to the citizens of Ashtabula County as their Auditor has been extraordinary. Sandy restored financial integrity to Ashtabula County government. Investigations conducted by Sandy and her staff led to the removal from office and conviction of several Ashtabula County public officials. In 2005 Ashtabula County's Democrat Commissioners attempted to impose an unnecessary sales tax increase. Sandy led a successful referendum to defeat the tax increase by garnering 78% of the vote. When Ashtabula County Government officials have refused to provide proper documentation for spending tax dollars, Sandy has often refused to release money to them- even if it meant going to court.
Sandy has received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers' Association every year she has been in office. In 1998 she won an Outstanding Auditor's Award. Sandy is also former President of the Northeast Ohio Auditor's Association. She recently added to her educational credentials by becoming an adjunct faculty member at Lakeland Community College in Mentor.
Sandy O'Brien is pro-life. Sandy supports Second Amendment rights and is a member of the National Rifle Association. She believes that marriage unites one man and one woman and opposes the extension of spousal benefits to non-married couples. Sandy is a proven fiscal conservative.
Pat and Sandy O'Brien are people of strong faith who live family values and cherish the time they get to spend with their children and grandchildren more than anything in their lives. All four O'Brien children are now successful adults, and two grandsons, Triston and Brendan have joined the O'Brien family. Pat and Sandy are active members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Rock Creek, Ohio.
Information obtained from Sandra O'Brien's campaign website.