Dems have gone too far, says guv candidate Kopp

GOP gov candidate Mike Kopp.

The Democrats have over-reached on several issues, and it’s time to put a stop to it, says Mike Kopp, the newest Republican to jump into the race to be the GOP candidate for governor.

Whether it be gun control or increased renewable energy requirements or a temporary reprieve for a convicted mass murderer, Democrats have gone too far with pushing their agenda, the former state senator said Wednesday, a day after formally entering the race.

“I think there’s something like a leadership crisis in this state as evidenced by these two recalls and with people considering a 51st state,” said Kopp, who was in Grand Junction as part of a whirlwind Western Slope tour to introduce himself to folks from Durango to Grand Junction.

“I really believe that people feel like government is way too involved,” he said. “The government has snuck into the front seat and really ought to be in the back seat. Taxpayers should be in front, and people understand that.”

Currently, Kopp is one of five Republicans vying for their party’s nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in his re-election bid next year. He faces Secretary of State Scott Gessler, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, Wray Sen. Greg Brophy and Meeker resident Jim Rundberg.

A member of the Colorado Senate from 2007 to 2011, acting as minority leader his last year there, Kopp earned a reputation as a thoughtful legislator who knew how to work with both sides of the political aisle.

A conservative to be sure, Kopp’s chief issues center on reducing government regulations, saying Colorado’s leaders haven’t made a serious effort on that for more than half a century.

“We have to have leadership that goes beyond the cutting-red-tape slogan,” he said. “We need a thorough examination of everything we do to regulate businesses that make it hard for them to bring new employees on, that make it hard for them to give existing employees raises.”

Kopp resigned his Senate post in 2011 when his wife, Kimberly, died of cancer.

He was elected national committeeman for the Republicans a year later, and currently works as manager of corporate affairs for Intermountain Rural Electric Association.

Kopp is a veteran of the U.S. Army, leaving the service as a sergeant in 1991 after serving during the first Persian Gulf war.

He then worked in the nonprofit and ministry fields, earning his undergraduate degree from North Central University in Minnesota and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

He and his new wife, Shannon, live in Golden with his four children from his first marriage.


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