Bernie Sanders’s Wife Jane O’Meara Sanders, His Closest Adviser

Mrs. Sanders first saw her husband at a debate she helped organize.

ByABC News
February 1, 2016, 6:48 AM

— -- Before Jane O’Meara Sanders met her husband, she was told she sounded like him.

A former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, who was running for his fifth term informed her of this. She was a community organizer who stood up in a meeting and made a few suggestions.

“The mayor said, ‘Now you sound like Bernie Sanders,’ and I said ‘Let’s organize a debate,’” she recalled.

That debate was the first time Jane saw Bernie.

“He spoke and it was unbelievable,” she said. “I just felt that he embodied everything I believed, and I was on board right away.”

When they met, Jane was a single mother of three.

“He understood what my concerns were,” she said. “Worrying about childcare, worrying about the cost of housing, worrying about how am I ever going to send the kids to college.”

The two have been married for 27 years. Between them, they have four children and seven grandchildren.

Jane has a doctorate in leadership and policy studies, is a former college president and has served Vermont on a volunteer basis over the years. She is one of her husband's closest advisers -- so close that her desk is directly next to his in his campaign office.

She said it hasn't been too difficult balancing being a political adviser and a wife.

“I think since it has always been that way from the beginning of our relationship,” she said. “We’ve always talked issues. We’ve always creatively solved things together.”

ABC News' Justine Quart, Angel Canales, MaryAlice Parks and Arthur Niemynski contributed to this report.