Mike Kopp finds happiness with new bride

By The Colorado Statesman

Former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and Republican fundraiser Shannon Ulrich were married on April 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, across the street from the state Capitol where Kopp had amassed an illustrious career as a state senator from Jefferson County. A former U.S. Army Ranger who was elected to the Legislature in 2006, he resigned in October of 2011, two months after his then-wife, 37-year-old Kim Kopp, died of a rare form of cancer. Kopp said in his resignation letter to legislative colleagues that he wanted to devote time raising their four children, who ranged in age from 4 to 16 at the time.

Kopp told The Colorado Statesman this week that his chance encounter with Shannon came later at a local breakfast in honor of Speaker John Boehner, “who we both spent most of the breakfast ignoring.”

Although Mike said he had a very strong sense about the connection to the woman he sat next to at the Warwick Hotel in Denver that morning, it took him six weeks before he could work up the courage to reach out to her.

Republican National Committeeman and former Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp and Shannon Ulrich were married on April 20 in Denver.

Kopp finally called Shannon and asked her to go on a bike ride.

Forty miles later the couple had shared a trek through the foothills near Morrison. “I didn’t flunk,” Kopp said about their first date.

They became engaged to be married in August of last year after Kopp romantically proposed during a hike along the Gore Mountain range.

As Kopp recalled the romantic jaunt, the couple stopped for a picnic and he whipped out a poem he had penned for his new love. “I sheepishly read it and then put the ring in her lap.”

‘Will you?’ he asked her.

And of course she said yes.

Shannon, who worked on Jane Norton’s 2010 U.S. Senate campaign and for U.S. Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid in 2012 as a fundraiser, quickly fell in love with Kopp’s children and they with her, he recounted this week. Shannon recently went to work as the director of local giving for a fellowship of Catholic University students. “I love the opportunity to brag abut her,” Kopp said about his new bride.

Kopp is the manager of corporate affairs for Intermountain Rural Electric Association. He is also the Republican National Committeeman for Colorado.