Gilda Ray Reed competes Wednesday during opening night of the Miss Missouri pageant in Mexico, Mo.

A Houston native began competing Wednesday for the title of Miss Missouri 2009.

Gilda Ray Reed, the reigning Miss Texas County, competed in evening gown and onstage question during the competition’s first day in Mexico, Mo. Today (Thursday), she will sing “Minnie the Moocher” in the talent portion. Her private judge’s interview was Tuesday afternoon.

All 28 contestants will compete in swimsuit on Friday.

Also competing for a statewide crown is Dusti Turner, the 2009 Outstanding Teen Miss Texas County.

Reed and Turner received their respective crowns at the annual Miss Texas County Scholarship Pageant in late August. Reed followed in the footsteps of her older sister, Katy, who won the crown the previous year.

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