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DC Does it Again! Miss USA 2017 Is Kara McCullough, Miss District of Columbia

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A new Miss USA has been crowned!

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.

Kara McCullough
Benjamin Askinas/WME IMG/Getty

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 those with jobs, and one of the country’s goals should be to create more jobs so more people have healthcare.

Twitter was divided over her response.

All three finalists were also asked about their definition of feminism, and if they consider themselves a feminist. McCullough said she prefers not to use the word “feminist,” and instead choses to “transpose the word feminism to equalism.”

“I don’t want to consider myself a feminist,” McCullough said. “Women, we are just as equal as men, especially in the workplace.”

The two-hour broadcast included musical performances by Pitbull and Brett Eldredge, as well as a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson ONE” show.

Julianne Hough and Terrence J returned as hosts of the competition, and Ashley Graham reprised her role as Miss USA’s backstage host.

This year’s judges included Halima Aden, the first woman to compete in a Miss USA state pageant wearing a hijab and burkini; TV personality Carson Kressley; former Miss USA and Miss Universe Brook Lee; Nancy Lubin, founder of Dress for Success; style expert Jeannie Mai; and bestselling author Janet Mock.

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Fans were invited to vote for their favorite contestants throughout the competition.

McCullough will go on to compete in Miss Universe next year.