Former Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has been tapped to give the Democratic response to President Trump's address to Congress next Tuesday night.
The announcement was made by the party's top congressional officials, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
They said the 72-year-old Beshear was chosen for his record extending access to affordable health care and lowering the state's uninsured rate from over 20 percent to 7.5 percent, "one of the biggest improvements in the nation."
The party officials also announced that Astrid Silva, an immigration activist, will give the Spanish-language response to the speech. Silva is part of a movement of so-called DREAMers, immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children. Silva, who came to the country with her parents at age 5, spoke at the Democratic National Convention last summer.
In choosing Beshear, who left office in December 2015, the party appears to be ignoring the clamor from pundits who say Democrats desperately need to present fresh faces to reinvigorate the party's standing with voters at a time when it is in the minority in Congress and in most state legislatures as well as out of power in the White House.