Beauty queen represents diversity for beach town

21-year-old Mara James reigns as Miss Huntington Beach 2020.

"I'm very excited to be the first American East Asian young woman to represent Huntington Beach," said James.

The beauty queen recognizes there is often a preconceived idea of what you expect to see at her hometown of Huntington Beach, a traditional beach, which often makes headlines for its beautiful coastline, and most recently for Black Lives Matter protests held near its world famous pier.

James takes pride in knowing she gets the opportunity to show people there are all kinds of people in this city. She also hopes to be an inspiration and a role model to young girls.

"People who live here love and respect their community," said James.

The two-time runner up says receiving runner up twice before "is a win" because she learned so much and it encouraged her to keep going and persevere.

James says Miss Huntington Beach will always represent positivity.

"Just kind of shining a light on the good things in Huntington Beach," said James.