Published: Tue, May 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough Crowned Miss USA 2017

The nuclear scientist employed at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave D.C. back-to-back victories in the competition after Deshauna Barber took home the crown a year ago. Barber works for the Army and three months after accepting her Miss USA crown, she lost her mother to lung cancer. "I don't really want to consider myself, I try not to consider myself, like, this diehard, 'I don't really care about men.' But one thing I'm going to say is, though, women we are just as equal as men when it comes to opportunity in the workplace".

McCullough was born in Naples and raised in Virginia Beach, Va.

"I'm extremely thankful for this opportunity", McCullough said after the event. While speaking during the pageant's Q&A section, Kára asserted her beliefs that health care was a privilege (as opposed to a right) and attempted to distance herself from the word "feminism".

McCullough said she will be discussing with her supervisor whether she will take a leave of absence from her job at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during her one-year reign.

Later in the competition, McCullough, Verg, and Gould were asked to explain what they consider feminism to be and whether they consider themselves feminists.

"So as a woman scientist in the government, I'd like to lately transpose the word "feminism" to 'equalism, '" the pageant victor said. Seven more to go.

Sunday's competition airs live at 8 p.m. EDT on Fox from Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Contestants are representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Tonight's pageant opened with a performance by Cirque du Soleil from the Vegas show "Michael Jackson: ONE". She will go on to compete on the Miss Universe contest.

Julianne Hough, Ashley Graham, and Terrence J. hosted the show.

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