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Story highlights

Joe Kennedy is seen as a rising star in Democratic Party

Elizabeth Guzman will give Spanish-language response to State of the Union

(CNN) —  

Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will deliver the Democratic Party’s response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week.

Kennedy, 37, is seen as a rising star in a party that has many in the senior ranks well into their 70s.

The Massachusetts congressman comes from one of the most prominent families in American politics as the great nephew of former President John F. Kennedy. He will follow in the footsteps of his great uncle, Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was part of a group response to President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union in 1982.

Last year, Kennedy garnered national attention during the health care debate when he delivered an emotional speech that went viral. During a marathon committee markup on the GOP’s Obamacare repeal and replace bill, Kennedy ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan personally. He took issue with the fellow Catholic’s interpretation of the scripture and calling the measure an “act of mercy.” Kennedy denounced the proposal to repeal and replace Obamcare as an “act of malice.”

“From health care to economic justice to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump’s broken promises to American families,” said Kennedy in a statement. “Our vision for this union is guided by a simple belief that equality and economic dignity should be afforded to every American. I’m honored to have been chosen by Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer to deliver our party’s response.”

Virginia Del. Elizabeth Guzman, who made history last year by becoming the first Hispanic female immigrant to be elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, will give the Democrats’ response in Spanish. Guzman immigrated from Peru and is a public administrator in the city of Alexandria.