The GOP Moderator Who Debunks Pageant Stereotypes

This Tuesday, the upcoming GOP debate will feature another undercard debate two hours earlier than the main debate, airing at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Business. There will just be four candidates but three hosts, one of whom is Fox Business newcomer Trish Regan. She joined the network in 2015 and will co-moderate with FBN reporter Sandra Smith, Wall Street Journal Washington bureau chief Gerald Seib. She's no stranger to the stage: Regan first drew attention as Miss New Hampshire back in 1993. She want on to participate in the Miss America 1994 pageant, where she was commended for her talent — opera singing.

In an interview with Bella Magazine, a women’s luxury lifestyle magazine in New York, Regan told Alexandra Anastasio how she got started in the competition. She said she needed money to pay for school and read about the pageant in her hometown newspaper. "I was already a serious musician and since talent was a big percentage of the score, I figured I had a shot at winning," Regan said. She had been singing since she was a little girl and went on to study opera at a music conservatory. She won her local pageant; she was Miss Deerfield Fair and then the statewide competition, winning the title Miss New Hampshire. She said it was a terrific experience.

Regan and her husband have three children. She told Bella that she hopes they pursue "something they love" but that putting kids in beauty pageants doesn't make any sense. "For a young girl to put on that much makeup and walk around and perform like an adult is ridiculous and doesn’t teach the values I want my children to embrace," Regan said. She said she liked being in a pageant because it gave her the opportunity to perform as a singer and she would only want her kids to participate in a pageant if it complimented one of their skills — not "just for the pageant's sake."

Lest we forget, she's a very accomplished business journalist. She switched from music school at the New England Conservatory of Music to Columbia University, where she studied economics and history. In her interview with Bella, she said internships at Goldman Sachs and NBC set her on the path to financial journalism. Before joining Fox Business, where she hosts The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan, she was a reporter at Bloomberg TV, CNBC, and CBS. At CBS and then at CNBC, she reported on international drugs and arms smuggling in South America, which won her an Emmy nomination. As part of her gig with Fox Business, she also provides business commentary on the main Fox News Channel.

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Moving up two hours from the main debate to join Regan will be New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. They didn't poll high enough to make the cut for the headliners debate. They will be joined on stage by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The debate will be held at the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee.

Regan will be well prepared to moderate the group, and given her opera training, they shouldn't be able to speak over her.