Newly elected Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst will deliver the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address, GOP leaders said Thursday. 

"She's a perfect choice," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said at a GOP congressional retreat, in Hershey, Pa. "Americans voted for change, and Senator Ernst will explain what the new Congress plans to do." 

Ernst, standing beside House Speaker John Boehner, said after the announcement she was "truly humbled." 

"I've come a long way from Red Oak [Iowa] to Washington, D.C.," said Ernst, a National Guard member and former state senator whose colorful ads -- including one about castrating hogs -- drew national attention during her campaign. 

Ernst in November won the open Iowa Senate seat held by Democrats for roughly 30 years. 

The president will deliver the 2015 address Tuesday on Capitol Hill.