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Meet Joe Kennedy, who will deliver the Democrats' SOTU response

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III will be the Democrat responding to President Donald Trump's State of the Union add...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 11:01 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 11:01 AM

Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III will be the Democrat responding to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday -- but who is he?

The 37-year-old rising star in the Democratic Party 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.

Before he was selected for the address, Kennedy was mostly viewed by his own party as a low-key member of a political dynasty who is strategically inserting himself into policy debates and laying out what he thinks Democrats still need to learn.

His State of the Union response will be an opportunity for him to shine in a party where many in the senior ranks are well into their 70s.

"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," Kennedy said 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 (Nancy) Pelosi and Leader (Chuck) Schumer to deliver our party's response."

Last year, Kennedy, who's currently serving his third term in the House, garnered national attention during the health care debate when he delivered an emotional speech that went viral.

During a marathon committee markup on the Republicans' Affordable Care Act repeal and replace bill, Kennedy slammed House Speaker Paul Ryan, specifically taking issue with the fellow Catholic's interpretation of scripture and label for the the measure as an "act of mercy."

Kennedy denounced the proposal to repeal and replace Obamcare as an "act of malice."

He was born and raised near Boston with his twin brother, Matthew Kennedy.

He received his law degree from Harvard Law School and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. He also played lacrosse in college and served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic for two years.

Before being heavily recruited to run for the seat of retiring Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, Kennedy worked as an assistant district attorney.

He serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and has advocated for LGBTQ rights and immigration reform.

He told Politico last year he has respect for both Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren and has no plans to challenge either of them for their seats. He said his connection with Warren is personal -- Kennedy met his wife, Lauren, in Warren's class at Harvard Law.

Kennedy will be the first Massachusetts lawmaker giving a State of the Union response since 1985.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
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Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
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Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
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Clinton374243
Gibson372559
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Knox335839
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Posey240328
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Clay223532
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Spencer192422
Washington187523
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Starke175643
Jay168223
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Martin74413
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Union6287
Ohio4957
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 864322

Reported Deaths: 10711
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101705707
Cuyahoga860661145
Hamilton64392448
Montgomery43309418
Summit35063761
Lucas31500625
Butler31128232
Stark25933435
Warren19746141
Lorain19165223
Mahoning17383338
Lake16178154
Clermont16057111
Delaware1445479
Licking13274137
Fairfield1287781
Trumbull12861316
Greene12114139
Medina11666168
Clark10995265
Wood10407158
Allen9945126
Portage9382109
Miami921073
Richland9186118
Marion7467113
Tuscarawas7410182
Columbiana7356124
Pickaway728450
Wayne7080171
Muskingum705241
Erie6188129
Hancock554390
Ross5532100
Scioto541664
Geauga513555
Darke471092
Lawrence457958
Ashtabula454673
Union454628
Sandusky438562
Mercer434489
Seneca431566
Huron430041
Auglaize423064
Shelby421922
Jefferson420569
Belmont417740
Washington391840
Athens38129
Putnam376275
Madison356529
Knox354422
Ashland347438
Fulton339343
Defiance332286
Crawford323874
Preble321437
Brown313921
Logan309132
Ottawa294943
Clinton290743
Williams279467
Highland276718
Jackson265345
Guernsey256326
Champaign252628
Fayette237330
Morrow23334
Perry232018
Holmes225674
Henry220149
Hardin214033
Coshocton205722
Van Wert202645
Gallia198826
Wyandot196151
Pike177417
Adams176915
Hocking172624
Carroll156216
Paulding144721
Noble120740
Meigs109024
Monroe101032
Harrison89421
Morgan83430
Vinton70813
Unassigned00
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