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Nikki Haley to deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address next Tuesday.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, made the announcement Tuesday, a week before Mr. Obama delivers his final address to both chambers of Congress.

"I was honored to be asked by Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell to deliver the Republican address to the nation," Gov. Haley said in a statement provided by their offices. "This is a time of great challenges for our country, but also of great opportunities. I intend to speak about both."

Ryan praised Haley for leading an "economic turnaround" in South Carolina, and called her "one of the most popular governors in America." McConnell said Haley has demonstrated how to bring people together to deliver results.

Democrats and Republicans applauded Haley last July for signing a bill to remove the confederate flag from the state capitol after the Charleston, South Carolina shooting reignited the debate over the symbol.

Haley is the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina and the youngest governor in the country. She was first elected governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014.

Freshman Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, delivered the GOP response to the last State of the Union.

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