North Dakota’s Cara Mund claimed the crown as Miss America 2018 during Sunday night’s competition at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, former Miss Arkansas, placed the crown on the 23-year-old teary-eyed successor’s head as the new Miss America accepted applause and cheers from the audience and judges.
Miss North Dakota emerged victorious through a series of swimsuit and talent contests, onstage speeches and two rounds of interviews by judges.
In one of her onstage interviews, Mund said President Trump, a Republican, was wrong toaimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
“It’s a bad decision,” she said. “There is evidence that climate change is existing and we need to be at that table.”
In an interview with The Associated Press before preliminary competition began, Mund, who lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, said her goal is to be the first woman elected governor of her state.
She said she wants to see more women elected to all levels of government.
“It’s important to have a woman’s perspective,” Mund, who had an internship in the U.S. Senate, told the AP. “In health care and on reproductive rights, it’s predominantly men making those decisions.”
An Ivy League graduate from Brown University who is headed to law school, Mund went to high school with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
“I said, ‘If Carson Wentz can do it, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund can become Miss America,'” she said after winning the title.
She is the first contestant from her state to win the Miss America crown.
The first runner up was Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis; second runner up was Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel; third runner up was Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey, and fourth runner up was Miss Texas Margana Wood.