WOMEN
10/19/2012 10:33 am ET Updated Oct 19, 2012

Tara Nelson, House Candidate From Indiana, On Losing Her Mother, Female Leadership And Why She's Running

Tara Nelson, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana, is an IT professional, ten-year member of the Indiana Farm Bureau and lifelong resident of Indiana's District 4.

In anticipation of the November 6 congressional elections, HuffPost Women caught up with her about who she is, why she's running and how to get involved with her campaign.

What's your favorite quality in another person?
Honesty.

What three words best describe you?
Hard-working mother.

What's your biggest flaw?
Being a perfectionist is my biggest flaw.

What failure are you most grateful for?
My struggle through high school can be seen as a failure, because I did not apply myself to life after losing my mother to breast cancer at a young age. I went from the top of my class to a very dark place of depression. After high school I regained my traction in life; working hard, getting involved with the community and charities, and becoming a mother. Having gone through the failure at a young age has made me appreciate where I am in my life today.

If you weren't you, who would you be?
I wouldn't want to be anyone else.

If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
I love my hometown Lafayette, IN. I have family and roots here; and I'm happy to raise my daughter in a safe town that offers a world-class education.

What woman do you most look up to?
I admire hard working women in politics such as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Sheila Klinker.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?
The advice I live by is "Do your best", and "Treat others better than the way you want to be treated". Working at your best level does take sacrifices at times, but it is always rewarding. Kindness has always worked out well for me too.

What's your joy trigger?
1. Spending quality time with my daughter.
2. I have always loved driving on the interstate (with no traffic jams).
3. Chatting with old friends on Facebook.

What is your favorite book?
Recently, I am a big fan of the "Hunger Games" series.

What is your favorite album?
That's a tough one. The top six most listened to albums would be from The Fray, One Republic, Paolo Nutini, Linkin Park, Evanescence and Adele.

Where did you have the best meal of your life?
Walt Disney World, Dec 31st, 2010 Tomorrowland Terrace VIP Party. I spent New Year's Eve with my nine-year-old daughter at Disney World, and enjoyed prime rib with truffle oil and huge chocolate covered strawberries. It was definitely a magical evening and the best fireworks ever. I would love to go back again.

What is your favorite thing you've ever worn and why?
I have always enjoyed wearing business suits. It makes me feel accomplished and I'm proud when I look in the mirror. I have always chosen a nice pair of black pants over jeans, and currently do not own jeans.

What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could add more hours to my day. I'm sure that is not a talent, but I'm happy with myself. I just wish I had more time to get tasks done.

What quality or accomplishment do you want people to know you for?
I want people to know that I'm genuine and caring. I'm running for congress because I'm truly concerned about our middle class and our struggling economy. I want people to know that I have technical writing and leadership talent that will serve me well in congress.

What makes you feel the most free?
When I'm on a vacation with my daughter, fully paid for, and earned by my hard work.

Why are you running?
I'm running for office for many reasons. I believe there is class warfare going on in our country. Too much has been taken away from our middle class including manufacturing jobs in the past thirty years. The wages have stopped increasing for our middle class. We have record unemployment but the cost of living, the cost of gas, food, and insurance continues to rise. Now, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are on the table for discussion with the Paul Ryan budget plan. I'm running to defend our middle class and our social safety net. I'm running to change our tax code to reverse the tax credits for offshoring jobs; create new taxes for offshore labor, and new tax credits for hiring Americans. I'm running to provide better health care for our Veterans. I'm running to ensure companies like Exxon Mobile are paying their fair share of taxes, and we have a fair price at the pump. I'm running to reduce our national deficit. We spent the past decade in war, and we are just now paying for it. We spend more in defense then the next twenty countries combined. We cannot afford to police the world, not at the expense of our middle class.

What is the most important issue for women in this election?
The most important issue for women in this election is to make sure we elect women to office. With more women in leadership, we would not see a wage gap for women in the workforce. In Indiana, women make .70 on every dollar that a man makes working the same job. We can continue our path for equality by making sure women are heard in local, state and federal government across the country.

How can readers get involved in your campaign?
Please support me by donating or contacting me on my campaign website at http://www.taranelsonforcongress.com/.

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