LAS VEGAS – A 23-year-old from Kenosha, Wis., has won the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas.
Laura Kaeppeler won the pageant Saturday night after strutting in a white bikini and in a black beaded evening gown, singing opera and answering a question about whether beauty queens should declare their politics.
“Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well,” Kaeppeler said. “And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all.”
Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson came in second, while Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte placed third.
Kaeppeler wins a $50,000 scholarship and gets the title for one year. Her platform was supporting and mentoring children of incarcerated parents.