GOP House Candidate and Former Miss America Winner Wants to Make Abortion a Conservative Issue

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 10, 2024

Former Miss America pageant winner Cara Mund is running for office as a Republican, hoping to win a seat in the House of Representatives in North Dakota.

In her office run, Mund is attempting to distinguish herself from her competitors as being anti-Trump and pro-choice, hoping to change the Republican party’s mind on the issue of abortion.

Mund’s History

In 2017, Mund became Miss America at 23 years old, becoming the only contestant from North Dakota in the pageant’s history to receive the title.

Cara Mund is crowned Miss America by another contestant behind her.

(Photo by Donald Kravitz_Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)

Following her win, she graduated from law school and ran unsuccessfully as an independent for a congressional seat.


Republican Primary

A spot opened up in the House of Representatives after the previous representative Kelly Armstrong vacated their seat to run for state Governor.

The logo for the Republican Party in the United States.

Source: Republican Party/Wikimedia

This opening has created a crowded Republican primary as several candidates are vying for the party’s spot, of which Mund has thrown her tiara in as well.

Mund’s Unique Perspective

As a pageant contestant, Mund was critical of Trump when he decided to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and was inspired to run for political office following a leak of the Supreme Court decision to overturn federal abortion.

A photo of Cara Mund wearing white for her campaign to be a US House Representative.

Source: caramund/X

During a May 24 radio debate between four primary candidates, she pointed out she was the only moderate Republican, and the only one to support key issues she feels Republicans don’t want to talk about.

Puppets for Trump

As a moderate, Mund views the current Republican party as controlled by Trump’s energy and wants to change that.

Donald Trump in front of a microphone.

Source: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

“Every one of my opponents is a puppet for Trump,” Mund said in the radio debate on the topic of Trump’s legal battles. “These cases are not distractions. I firmly believe that all Americans are innocent until proven guilty and no one is above the law, but when we elect leaders who undermine our court system, who support the politicization of our courts, there is a deep concern. Every single one of my opponents want to overlook the evidence and just be a talking head for Donald Trump.”

Abortion Rights for Women

In contrast to many Republicans, Mund is a firm supporter of abortion rights. While many Republicans prefer to be vague about their positions on certain issues related to women’s reproduction, Mund is taking a bolder approach.

Protesters hold a sign that says 'keep abortion legal.'

Source: Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash

“This is women’s healthcare. The fact that women could be dying having to carry a fetus that’s not going to make it and wreck her chance of ever being able to have children in the future, and now we have resolutions on IVF. Not only is it, ‘if you can’t do it naturally, we’re also going to prohibit you from trying to conceive in other ways,” Mund said in the debate.


Limited Government Informs Abortion Stance

Mund feels like her pro-choice message falls naturally into her conservative values of limited government and argues that conservatives should live true to these values and keep the government out of women’s hospital visits as well.

A close up look at part of the US capitol building in Washington D.C.

Source: Ian Hutchinson/Unsplash

“As a conservative, I support limited government, and all of you wanna be in spaces that the government should not be. The government should not be in your bedroom, they should not be in your doctor’s appointments,” Mund said during the debate.


Not Afraid to Speak Her Mind

Mund during her campaign has framed her opponents as hiding their true feelings, obscuring how their true opinions on certain issues while she is the truth-teller.

Cara Mund smiles at the viewer while wearing a professional suit ahead of an interview.

Source: caramund/X

“Listen to Friday’s Congressional Republican Primary Debate! Fedorchak wouldn’t answer questions, wouldn’t agree to certify the election, and wouldn’t be transparent about her personal financial gain from the proposed CO2 pipeline. What is she hiding?”  Mund wrote in an X post after the radio debate.


Tricky Issue for Republicans

The Republican party, which has traditionally had a pro-life stance, is finding that stance difficult to balance against the current opinions of the American voting electorate.

Protestors expressing pro-abortion views.

Source: Manny Becerra/Wikimedia

A Pew Research study from last month found that a majority 63% of Americans think abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This number has fluctuated over the decades but has been consistent in recent years.


Polling Status

According to recent polling, Mund is stuck in the middle of the pack behind opponents Fedorchak and Becker in the Republican primary.

A portrait of Cara Mund while she wears a leather jacket.

Source: caramund/X

A poll by the North Dakota Monitor released at the end of last month found Mund only had 10% of the vote while Julie Foedrchak had 32% and Rick Becker had 25%.


Effectiveness of Mund’s Strategy

Although Mund’s opinions are reflecting Americans’ opinions generally on certain issues, North Dakota is currently a deep red state.

A close-up of Donald Trump speaking, with his mouth open mid-sentence. He appears to be addressing an audience

Source: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

This means that her party-defying stances on these issues may make it difficult for her to win over the support of Republican voters.


Open Election

Although Mund may struggle with Republicans, there is hope for her to pick up the votes of Independents and Democrats thanks to North Dakota’s open election process for primaries that does not require voter registration. The primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 11.

A person slides an envelope into a ballot box.

Source: Element 5/Unsplash

“Many of my supporters, including prominent fellow Republicans in the state, have been scared to speak out in support of my candidacy with the fear of retaliation from the Republican Party,” said Mund in a statement to USA Today ahead of the primary election. “It is that fear that people are continuing to experience that reminds me of the importance of my candidacy.”