Kara McCullough, 25, from the District of Columbia, took home the coveted title on Sunday night during the live competition in Las Vegas.
McCullough was named the winner over first runner-up Miss New Jersey, Chhavi Verg, and second runner-up Miss Minnesota, Meridith Gould.
McCullough is a nuclear scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Her win gives the District of Columbia back-to-back victories in the competition, after Deshauna Barber took home the crown last year.
Barber came out to crown McCullough, and gave a tribute to her mom during the Mother’s Day broadcast, who passed away from lung cancer three months into her reign as Miss USA. Barber wore her hair in its natural state in honor of her mom.
During the questions portion of the competition, McCullough was asked if affordable healthcare is a right or a privilege. She responded that healthcare should only go to…
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The District of Columbia has won back-to-back Miss USA titles.
Kara McCullough, a 25-year-old scientist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was crowned Sunday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip. She will go on to compete on the Miss Universe contest.
“I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity,” she said after the event. “I just want to encourage so many women nationwide to find their passion in any subject possible and understand that nothing is difficult if you really, truly put the work in for it.”
Fifty-one women representing each state and the nation’s capital participated in the decades-old competition. The runner-up of the night was Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg, a marketing and Spanish student at Rutgers University, while the second runner-up was Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould, who is studying apparel retail merchandising at the University of Minnesota.
McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She said she wants to inspire children to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Last year, District of Columbia resident Deshauna Barber became the first-ever military member to win Miss USA.
The top five finalists where asked different questions that touched on the pros and cons of social media, women’s rights and issues affecting teenagers. McCullough was asked whether she thinks that affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege. McCullough said it is a privilege.
“As a government employee, I’m granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs.”
McCullough’s office at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission focuses on emergency preparedness. She said she will be discussing with her work supervisor whether she will take a leave of absence.
Later in the competition, McCullough, Verg and Gould were asked to explain what they consider feminism…