Miss District of Columbia wins 2017 Miss USA

LAS VEGAS – The District of Columbia has won back-to-back Miss USA titles.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 14: Miss District of Columbia USA 2016 Kara McCullough reacts as she is crowned Miss USA 2017 by Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber during the 2017 Miss USA pageant at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 14, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kára McCullough, a chemist working for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was crowned Sunday during the event that took place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the Las Vegas Strip. She will go on to compete on the Miss Universe contest.

The runner-up was Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg. The second runner-up was Miss Minnesota Meridith Gould. Fifty-one women representing each state and the nation’s capital participating in the decades-old competition.

McCullough was born in Naples, Italy, but she was raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Last year, District of Columbia resident Deshauna Barber became the first-ever military member to win Miss USA.