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New Miss America hopes win draws attention to North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The newly crowned Miss America said she hopes that being the pageant's first winner from North Dakota helps draw attention to her home state.

Cara Mund, 23, is preparing for a year of traveling across the country after winning the nearly century-old scholarship pageant Sunday. The Ivy League graduate said her experience as Miss America will prepare her for next goal: becoming the first female governor of North Dakota.

"I feel like sometimes North Dakotans are overlooked, but that makes us work that much harder," Mund told The Bismarck Tribune . "It's been such a privilege to be able to kind of put us on the map and to be the very first one to make history."

Mund credits her home state with giving her a strong work ethic and humble attitude.

A graduate of Brown University, Mund plans to attend law school when her time as Miss America is over. She said she might also be interested in running for the U.S. Senate, but wants to start at the state level.

As Miss America, Mund said she wants to focus on volunteering and plans to continue supporting her personal platform, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She said she wants to host a 2018 fashion show for the foundation in Bismarck.

Mund attracted national attention during Sunday's competition when she said President Donald Trump shouldn't have withdrawn from the Paris climate accord. In interviews after the pageant, she said she doesn't identify with a specific political party, "but rather just as an American."

"I'm a person, not a party," she said.

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