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Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY Published 3:48 p.m. ET Sept. 12, 2017
Miss America 2018 Cara Mund meets the media after her crowning at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. She is the first contestant from North Dakota to be crowned Miss America. THOMAS P. COSTELLO
Cara Mund won the title of Miss America 2018 Sunday night — but could she win the title of governor of North Dakota? If all goes according to her plans.
Although Mund, 23, deferred enrollment in law school this fall to serve as Miss America, the Brown University honors graduate plans on pursing her legal degree and wants to go even further.
“I would love to run for office,” she revealed to USA TODAY. “I want to be the first female governor from North Dakota. I worked in the Senate last fall and I think that really inspired me is just to realize the impact you can have as one person standing up for the voices of the people in your state.”
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund participates in the question
Miss North Dakota Cara Mund participates in the question challenge during the 2018 Miss America Competition on Sept. 10, 2017 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo: Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
Politics played a large part in the competition this year, with several politically-minded questions from judges during the question and answer segment. The hot-button questions didn't surprise Mund, who said she "definitely" plans on being vocal about what's happening in the world of politics during her reign.
“We are the largest scholarship provider, so you should be up-to-date on your current events, and you should also have an opinion,” she said. “I don’t think other people are going to share the same opinion nor do I expect them to but the fact that each one of us knew exactly what was going on in the world, we were able to form an opinion and also to back it up.”
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Even without a governor title, Mund has already made history as the first-ever contestant from North Dakota to win the pageant competition, adding even more joy to an already exciting night.
“It was such an honor. I went in, and I knew I wanted to do something that no one has ever done before, and I thought that was going to be making top five — I didn’t think that would mean winning,” she said. “So when my name was called I couldn’t believe it, and I knew I’d done something no one’s ever done before.”
More impressive items on Mund's resume? She trained with the Radio City Rockettes, founded North Dakota’s Annual Make-A-Wish Fashion Show at age 14, was recognized by President Obama for her charitable efforts.
"Growing up, a lot of people told me, 'oh you're not going to be able to do that because you're coming from North Dakota' or just different things," she said. "And I realized over time that I would be able to accomplish things and (shouldn't) limit myself... That's what I really hope to do, inspire our youth and make a difference."
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