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Minneapolis woman to join First Lady during State of the Union

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Obama and Rebekah Erler
President Barack Obama sat down for lunch in Matt's Bar with accountant Rebekah Erler on June 26, 2014, in Minneapolis.
Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

The White House announced Monday that a Minnesotan will be among first lady Michelle Obama's guests at Tuesday's State of the Union Address. 

Rebekah Erler, of Minneapolis, made her political mark in June 2014 when President Barack Obama met with her over Jucy Lucys at Matt's Bar during a trip to Minneapolis just ahead of the mid-term elections.

Erler, a 36-year-old accountant and mother of two pre-school-aged boys, found herself on the White House's radar after writing a letter to the president, recounting the story of her family's struggles during the recession. Her husband's construction business had gone under, and since then they'd struggled — but succeeded — in bouncing back.

"Rebekah's story is representative of the experiences of millions of resilient Americans: While our economy has made a strong comeback, too many middle class Americans families with two hardworking parents are still stretched too thin," the White House said in a news release.

The White House updated Erler's story in a news release Monday, highlighting a handful of topics the president is likely to address in his speech:

After relocating from Seattle to Minneapolis and a number of difficult jobs, Rebekah's husband is now back in the re-modeling industry, gets home in time for dinner each night with their family, and is enjoying continued professional growth. 

Rebekah took out student loans to go to a local community college for career re-training and is now back in the workforce as an accountant. Rebekah and her husband recently bought their first home.  

While the specific content of the State of the Union — scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. Central time — is often a closely held secret, White House watchers say to expect taxes and the economy to dominate the address.