ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Miss America Organization has chosen new leadership groups for the pageant in three states and reinstated the leadership in a fourth.
The parent organization of the nearly 100-year-old pageant awarded new state licenses Saturday to groups in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Tennessee, and reinstated the Florida leadership.
Pennsylvania, Georgia and Tennessee are among states that either had their licenses terminated or not renewed, and who filed a lawsuit against the pageant’s two top leaders.
In Tennessee, group led by Joseph Albright was chosen. In Pennsylvania, it was one led by Deborah Butcher and Dr. Kirstin Snow.
The Georgia group will be led by Trina Pruitt, and the Florida group led by Keith Williams was reinstated.
The moves come amid a turbulent period for the pageant, in which some state pageant leaders are battling national leaders over how the group is being run, and how the decision to eliminate the swimsuit competition was reached.
The organization’s chairwoman Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host, has said the change was made to make the pageant more relevant in today’s society and to stop requiring young women to appear on stage in swimsuits and heels to try to win money for their education.
The national group has terminated or declined to renew the licenses of several state organizations. It is also considering moving the pageant to a city other than Atlantic City, its longtime home.
Brenda Keith, the Miss America Organization board member who chaired the submission process, said the new Georgia leadership group “is indicative of what can be done when people pull together for good. We welcome her and her board and other supporters who are working for these young women by advancing the mission of Miss America.”
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