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Miss America 2018 Cara Mund joined the 51 Miss America 2019 candidates at the annual arrival ceremony at Kennedy Plaza in front of Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall (Thursday, Aug 30, 2018) 

In a Friday morning interview on the "Today Show," reigning Miss America Cara Mund said challenges with the organization and it's leadership have made for a tough year.

"I do think, with the lack of confidence, there does need to be a leadership change, and I think it comes from more than one individual," Mund said when co-anchor Hoda Kotb asked if Gretchen Carlson should be in charge of the Miss America pageant. 

Mund spoke on the live broadcast from a location in the marina section of Atlantic City, not far from where the 2019 competition is being held. A new Miss America will be crowned at Boardwalk Hall Sunday.

The Miss America organization has had its share of discord and instability this past year, the latest of which involved a letter Mund wrote addressing her Miss America "sisters" where she made claims of bullying from top organization leadership.

Carlson, the former Miss America-turned-chairwoman of the Miss America Organization's board of trustees, replied to the claims in a statement last month in which she denied ever bullying or silencing Mund.

"When that letter went public that I had to my sisters, I was nervous and I was scared, and for the organization to then come out and say that it wasn't true and that it needs to be handled privately while then going publicly with it on Twitter and all social media, it was tough," Mund said on the show Friday.

Prior to Mund's letter and earlier this year, representatives from 22 state pageants, including New Jersey, had signed a petition calling for the immediate resignations of the entire Miss America Organization board of trustees, including Carlson and President and CEO Regina Hopper.

The outgoing Miss America said she doesn't regret her decision to speak out, and has felt support from people across the country. Mund said she continues to speak out "to make sure that whoever the next woman is who takes my job, she knows what she's getting into, she feels supported and that we're going to be able to make it the best year possible for her."

The Miss America 2019 competition finale airs live from Atlantic City on Sunday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Contact: 609-272-7022

NLeonard@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressNLeonard​

Previously interned and reported for Boston.com, The Asbury Park Press, The Boston Globe

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