Celebrations and congratulations flowed Sunday night in Atlantic City as Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund was crowned 2018’s Miss America. Last night was the first time in pageant history that Miss North Dakota has ever won the coveted tiara.
A Brown University graduate heading to law school following her reign, Mund said she hopes to one day become the first woman elected governor of North Dakota. She showed political savvy and determination when asked about President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accords earlier this year.
Referencing the decision to withdraw from the climate accords, the newly-crowned Miss America said: “It’s a bad decision. There is evidence that climate change is existing, and we need to be at that table.”
She told reporters at Boardwalk Hall following the ceremony that it was her desire to provide a factual and honest answer to the question posed, instead of glossing over her answer.
“My onstage question answer was just my personal opinion,” she told The Associated Press in an interview. “I think everyone has a right to think what they want. But it’s important to have a spot at the negotiating table. This isn’t necessarily: ‘Does climate change exist or not?’ but rather the fact that we’re going to keep our Earth clean for future generations, and I just think it’s really important that we have a seat there. To pull out, I think, is just really unfortunate.”
Behind Mund, the other top five 2018 Miss American contestants were first runner-up Miss Missouri Jennifer Davis, second runner-up Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel, third runner-up Miss District of Columbia Briana Kinsey, and fourth runner-up Miss Texas Margana Wood.
The panel of judges for the 2018 pageant included country singer Thomas Rhett, actress and author Molly Sims, Grammy-nominated singer Jordin Sparks, People Magazine’s editor in chief Jess Cagle, CEO of AfterBuzz TV Maria Menounos, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri and Olympic gold medalist, Tara Lipinski.
The Miss America Organization, alongside The Miss America Foundation and its 52 licensed organizations, is the nation’s largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women, awarding millions annually for young female scholars across the country and around the world. The Foundation provides academic and community-based scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as endowed scholarships for young women entering medical school, working in special areas for military service awareness and the performing arts.
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) September 11, 2017