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TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Tupelo's mayor is engaged to a beauty queen and medical student.
Mayor Jason Shelton's romance with former Miss Mississippi Chelsea Rick began when he tweeted a message asking residents of Tupelo and North Mississippi to support her in the 2013 Miss Mississippi competition.
Rick, a William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, said she had followed the mayoral race.
"I was pretty excited because here was the new, young Democratic mayor in Tupelo tweeting me," she told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/1KYalCb ), laughing. "After I got crowned, I thought he would be a good person to go and meet with because I wanted to be proactive about a way to give back to Northeast Mississippi."
She said that since Shelton is a lawyer, she'd expected him to be pompous and arrogant.
"But he was just the opposite," she said. "He was so warm and so humble and really listened to some of the things I wanted to do in that area. He didn't treat me like just another pageant girl."
Shelton was also impressed.
"She's obviously a beautiful girl and really just takes your breath away when she walks into a room, but I was really surprised with how easy she was to talk to and how passionate she was about giving back to the community," Shelton said. "To me it was so impressive to see this medical student and Miss Mississippi being truly passionate about some of the causes she's advocating for."
They kept in touch on a professional basis for about six months.
Shelton says she knew before their first kiss that he was the man for her.
He proposed May 9, in the City Hall rose garden that Rick describes as "possibly where our first kiss took place."
Rick said she wasn't entirely surprised by the proposal, but didn't expect it then and there.
"I'm usually really good about picking up on stuff like that because despite Jason being a lawyer and a politician, he's a terrible liar," she said. "But I had been in exams all week and just didn't pick up on any clues or hints."
They have not set a date for the wedding.
Rick will move back to the area in the fall to begin her clinical rotations at North Mississippi Medical Center.
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com