10/19/2012 06:36 pm ET

Deborah Morrow, House Candidate From South Carolina, On Lifelong Activism, 'Dueling Turkeys' And Why She's Running

Deborah Morrow, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from South Carolina and former IT professionaldescribes herself as a "lifelong activist for progressive causes." According to the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics, she attended the University of South Carolina, has nine grandchildren, and Barbara Bush once commended her for her volunteer work in literacy programs.

In anticipation of the November 6 congressional elections, HuffPost Women talked to 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?
Compassion. I like humor and intelligence and honesty -- but any qualities, however superlative, are worthless without compassion.

What three words best describe you?
Curious, creative and kind.

What's your biggest flaw?
I'm just a little too modest. That's a joke! I have many flaws! I have too much of a sweet tooth, enjoy all kinds of food too much.

What failure are you most grateful for?
I had a period of bad health, virtually incapacitated by a from of rheumatoid arthritis. To manage the pain, I had to take chemo medicine that made me sick. It gave me understanding of others' suffering; forced me to stop and change gears and relinquish control; and made me grateful for "the little things" and for my health when it returned after a couple of years. I've felt much stronger and more resilient since that experience.

If you weren't you, who would you be?
I considered studying journalism and think it would be fascinating to travel the world, seeing and learning things firsthand and reporting on it all.

If you could live anywhere, where would that be?
Part time in Upstate South Carolina and part time in Washington DC.

What woman do you most look up to?
My mother.

What advice do you live by?
I Corinthians:1-13 which I alluded to in my first answer about compassion:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

What's your joy trigger?
Diving into cold water. Or even thinking about diving into cold water.

What is your favorite book?
Several by Dr Seuss, probably "Horton Hears a Who" or "The Lorax."

What is your favorite album?
I'm a closet classical music buff. I've always loved the Scheherazade Suite by Rimsky-Korsakov because it's very magical. (And Scheherazade was a woman who used her wits.)

Where did you have the best meal of your life?
Thanksgiving, at home, when everybody makes something and we have "dueling turkeys" - one deep-fried by my step-son, one baked by my daughter-in-law. It's always a tie which one is better.

What is your favorite thing you've ever worn and why?
My wedding ring, because it symbolizes marriage to the love of my life, and our commitment to our children; and because it belonged to my mother, given to her by my father... it even came from my grandparents' jewelry store, and it's beautiful to look at. I'm my own person, but a lot of my strength to be that person comes from the people I love and who have loved me.

What talent do you wish you had?
Speaking more foreign languages, being really fluent at it.

What quality or accomplishment do you want people to know you for?
An unlikely person who changed people's lives for the better.

What makes you feel the most free?

Why are you running?
There is a very unhealthy attitude in the US right now, where cut-throat partisanship and the influence of money are taking the place of conscience and the best interest of people... But also there's a very healthy rebellion, people are tired of it - so an outsider has a chance to make difference and turn things around. I have a lot of energy and determination, have educated myself to be an honest and effective public servant. The time is just right for it all the way around, or that's my hope and belief.