South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addresses a Newsmaker Luncheon at the National Press Club September 2, 2015 in Washington, DC. Governor Haley spoke on "Lessons from the New South."
Alex Wong—Getty Images
By Daniel White
January 5, 2016

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will deliver the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirmed the news in a statement to Politico, saying “Nikki Haley is a proven leader and committed reformer who believes deeply in the promise of the country we all share.”

Traditionally, the opposing party gives a rebuttal speech following the President’s State of the Union. (That job has a history of creating bad luck for the person selected.) Haley is coming off a year where she was in the national spotlight for her handling of the massacre at a church in Charleston and the subsequent backlash over the use of the confederate flag in her state.

For its part, White House has hinted that this year’s speech will be unorthodox.

The president will deliver his last State of the Union on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 9 p.m. EST.

Read More: The Curse of the State of the Union Response

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