Miss America leaders strike back at rebel state pageants with purge

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The other heel has dropped at the Miss America Organization, which had endured a revolt by dozens of states this summer against the national leadership of the pageant headed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.

The crowning of the latest Miss America took place last month with the pageant’s national leadership largely silent on the calls for their resignation from many states.

But now the national organization is undertaking a purge of rebellious state officials, terminating the licenses of four states, threatening about 15 with probation — and thanking others whose officials stood by the national leadership in the first Miss America pageant without a swimsuit competition.

States whose licenses are terminated must replace current leaders. They can request an appeal hearing from Miss America’s executive committee.

The Miss America Organization would not say how it decided which states to terminate and which to threaten with probation, issuing a statement to The Associated Press that read, in its entirety:

“The process regarding Miss America state licensees is confidential.”

State officials say their dissatisfaction stemmed not from the elimination of swimsuits, but by the way Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper ran the organization since taking over in January.

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