Q&A: Miss Pennsylvania USA Second Runner-Up Elliot Griffin

The Temple grad turned down the opportunity to take over for Sheena Monnin.

Philly’s own Elliot Griffin was named the second runner-up in the 2012 Miss Pennsylvania USA Pageant six months ago. This week, the pageant’s winner, Sheena Monnin, posted a Facebook message announcing her resignation as Miss Pennsylvania USA and accusing the Miss Universe organization of rigging the national competition. We talked to Griffin in the midst of the ongoing controversy.

We saw that the first runner-up turned down the offer to fill Monnin’s role as Miss Pennsylvania. Have you been offered the gig yet?
It actually happened moments ago and I declined. If I had accepted I would have had to forgo future opportunities to compete in the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. If [the run] would have been for the full year, I might have considered it, but it only would have been for six months. I feel like it wouldn’t have been best for me to accept the role for that short of a time.

Do you know if they’ll continue to ask the runners-up to take the reins as Miss Pennsylvania?
They’ll at least go down through the top five. I’m not sure about after that.

Do you have an opinion on Sheena Monnin’s resignation?
I think it’s kind of outrageous for her to accuse Mr. Trump and the rest of the Miss Universe organization of any sort of rigging or cheating, especially when it’s immediately following the Miss USA pageant. It’s really hard for it to look like anything but sour grapes when it comes the day after someone else wins the crown. And that’s something that you’ve got to prepare yourself for. You need to go into that knowing that there’s a chance you might not win.

What about Donald Trump’s threat to sue?
I think that it’s equally as ridiculous. [Laughs] If anyone has a reason to be sued for making slanderous comments, I almost feel that President Obama has just as much of a right to sue Donald Trump as Trump has to sue Monnin.

You turned down the chance to be Miss Pennsylvania USA for the next six months, but you did just graduate from Temple, right? Any plans for the immediate future?
I did [recently graduate]. I’m still living in Philly looking for a job in politics. I was actually focused on political communication, so I’m looking for something in the world of politics or PR.

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