Cara Mund made all North Dakotans proud on Sunday and we thank her for all her hard work and accomplishments.
She’s the first North Dakotan to win the Miss America title and it’s no small achievement. Taking part in the pageant requires contestants to devote a huge amount of time in preparation. They must compete in local and state contests and demonstrate their abilities in several categories to advance.
Miss America doesn’t like to be referred to as a beauty pageant and has put more emphasis on civics and talent and less on the swimming suit aspects. Because of that they can place the young women in some awkward situations with the questions they ask.
When asked onstage about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, she said it was a bad decision. Mund added there’s evidence of climate change which makes the accord important.
She later told the Associated Press she wanted to give an honest answer. At the same time she said the people should support the president.
Mund has been giving frank answers throughout the pageant. In an interview with the AP before preliminary competition began, Mund said she wants to be the first woman elected governor of North Dakota. Mund hopes to see more women elected to all levels of government.
"It's important to have a woman's perspective," Mund, who served an internship in Republican Sen. John Hoeven’s office. "In health care and on reproductive rights, it's predominantly men making those decisions."
Mund went to high school with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and "I said, 'If Carson Wentz can do it, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund can become Miss America,'" she said after winning the title.
Bismarck got the opportunity to watch Mund grow up. She was involved in a number of activities with the most notable being her partnership with North Dakota Make-A-Wish to organize a fashion show to benefit make-A-Wish children. During the last 10 years the show has raised $78,500 and granted 23 wishes. She started the show when she was a teenager driven by a desire to help a friend with cancer.
Her Miss American platform was “Make-A-Wish Passion with Fashion.” During the pageant she was a finalist for the Jean Bartel Quality of Life Award. She was the first North Dakotan to be a finalist for the award. Miss Alabama won the award.
Mund’s honesty will no doubt draw some criticism. The state should be proud to be represented by someone with lofty goals and has already demonstrated her ability to help others. Her honesty should be valued. A number of years ago former U.S. Attorney and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley said he wanted to be governor some day. It was fine for him to express his goal and it’s great that Mund’s upfront about her goals.
After completing her duties as Miss America, Mund, a graduate of Brown University, plans to attend law school. North Dakotans should find it interesting to follow her career. It has the makings of a continued success story.