TUNICA • A year after winning the Miss Mississippi title, Booneville’s Asya Branch is now Miss Mississippi USA.

Branch won the Miss Mississippi USA 2020 competition Saturday night, becoming the first African American to wear the Mississippi USA state crown.

Branch, who was Miss Mississippi 2018, will now represent Mississippi in the Miss USA 2020 Pageant next spring. Mississippi has never had a Miss USA, the state’s highest placement was Leah Laviano’s first runner-up finish in 2008.

The winner of Miss USA goes on to represent the United States in the Miss Universe pageant.

Branch is one of seven women to win both Miss Mississippi and Miss Mississippi USA titles, the most recent being Jalin Wood (Miss Mississippi 2004, Miss Mississippi USA 2007).

Branch, who competed as Miss Northeast Mississippi USA, was one of 19 contestants in the Miss Mississippi USA pageant at the Horseshoe Casino. She succeeds Madeleine Overby of Columbus as Miss Mississippi USA.

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