By The Hill Staff - 07/25/12 09:00 AM EDT
Hometown: Clinton, Miss.
Political party: Republican
Relationship status: Single
If you think Jill Duckworth looks like a beauty queen, that's because she is. In 2010, she won the beauty pageant in her hometown of Clinton, Miss., and was the runner-up to Miss Mississippi (try saying that three times fast), putting her just one spot away from competing in the Miss America pageant.
But it wasn’t an easy road to get there.
“I'm not going to lie — I did not want anything to do with pageants when I was younger,” says the staff assistant for Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).
She’s now glad she did them, because they helped her overcome her shyness.
Duckworth also enjoyed showcasing her singing in the competitions. In the state pageant, she sang an operatic piece called “Love Is Where You Find It.”
She didn’t win the talent portion, but she did pull out a victory in swimsuit.
So what does it take to have the best body in the state? Duckworth swears by the CrossFit strength and conditioning program.
But she says the classes are so expensive in Washington that she mostly sticks to working out in the House gym.
Duckworth says she doesn't go anywhere in public without first doing her hair and makeup.
“A few times I've gone to the grocery store, but I immediately regretted it,” she says. “It’s just a Southern thing.”
These days her singing is limited mostly to weddings. So many of her sorority sisters from the University of Southern Mississippi are getting married that she keeps getting roped into performing at their ceremonies.
Duckworth is also thinking about getting into musical theater in D.C. to keep her musical talents sharp.
But this Southern belle's main complaint about D.C.?
“Sweet tea is just nonexistent,” she sighs.
— Brendan Sasso