World, prepare for the next beauty queen-turned-politician. Maryline Blackburn defeated Sarah Palin in the Miss Alaska Pageant in 1984, showing off her vocal cords in the talent competition and becoming the first African-American woman to win, err, enter the pageant. (Sarah’s flute-playing earned her Miss Congeniality.) Since then, Maryline moved to Atlanta, became a singer, and was nominated for two Grammys. The 2008 election changed her, though. While she was excited to see her old pageant rival on the ticket (“When I first saw her I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, she’s absolutely beautiful.’ She has that determined look and she’s not going to give up.”), Maryline is a Democrat. “It’s all about Obama, Obama,” she said at the time. She even performed at the inaugural balls thrown by Ludacris and Dionne Warwick.
Now, Maryline has decided to run for office herself. She’s been approved for inclusion on the ballot for the Georgia House of Representatives and is campaigning hard to oust a Republican incumbent. “I am concerned about House District 34’s current representation,” she said. “Our issues and concerns are being ignored and it’s time for new and better representation.”