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Endorsements

 
I heartily endorse Matthew Canaga for Larimer County Coroner. I have worked with Matt for the past 12.5 years in his role as a death investigator serving our community. His experience, knowledge and communication skills are excellent. Matt has a history of service including time in the United States Marine Corps where he earned a Purple Heart in Iraq. He has great interpersonal skills and is well respected by his peers. Matt is passionate about serving his community as your next coroner. Your best option for coroner in the next election is Matthew Canaga.   — James A. Wilkerson, IV, MD
Larimer County Coroner and Chief Medical Examiner

Coroner Community

These endorsements are from those who have observed Matt's work with the Larimer County Coroner's Office.
We are pleased to share our unequivocal endorsement of Matt Canaga as your elected Larimer County Coroner. We worked at the Larimer County Coroner / Medical Examiner’s Office and had transitioned out when Matt was hired as a deputy coroner / investigator. Having known him since that time, and have watched the office continue to transition into one of Colorado’s – and nation’s – leading offices. This has continued when Matt became the Chief Deputy Coroner, building on his experiences to continue elevating the office and staff to the highest abilities and standards. This year he has pushed harder, and successfully, to expand these foundational strengths to the office – to include maintaining the accreditation of the National Association of Medical Examiners, adding a staff forensic pathologist, develop accreditation criteria for staff investigators, and further expanding the resources and capabilities of the office. The coroner is responsible for much more. At its heart, they are responsible to the people of Larimer County, and each family member of every decedent – who deserve the respect and voice of the coroner system. Matt has the experience with local law enforcement, office staff, local and county leadership, and his experience as a Marine combat veteran to actively lead the office for the next several years. Matt is not a politician – he is a respected active member and leader of the community. Chief Investigator Matt Canaga has earned the trust of the office, voters, and community. He will continue this trust, and moving the Larimer County Coroner / Medical Examiner’s Office forward strong. Integrity. – Dean A. Beers and Karen S. Beers, Medicolegal Investigative Consultants and former Larimer County Deputy Coroners — Dean & Karen Beers
Medicolegal Investigative Consultants

I am pleased to endorse Matt Canaga for the position of Coroner for Larimer County, Colorado. I have had the pleasure of working with Matt for years as he has risen to the position of Chief Deputy Coroner. Matt is a skilled death investigator, proficient autopsy assistant, and has a keen mind for the business of death investigation. Matt knows that the Coroner is responsible for more than signing a death certificate. This complex job serves many clients: law enforcement, the legal system, funeral homes, public health, and, most importantly, the families of the deceased in Larimer County. Matt strives to meet the needs of our community with professionalism, integrity, and compassion. I was part of this Office when it initially acquired accreditation from the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). At the time, it was the smallest Office in the country to achieve this national standard. I am confident that the Office will maintain and build upon this honor under Matt’s leadership. In short, Larimer County is lucky to have someone of Matt’s caliber “step up to the plate” and run the Coroner’s Office. Most of us don’t think about the Coroner’s Office until there has been a devastating personal loss. Should that day come, you will be glad that you will be reaching out to a person like Matt Canaga.

— Steve Cina, MD, FCAP, D-ABMDI
Former Chief Medical Examiner Cook County, Chicago, IL

 

I have worked with the Larimer County Coroner's Office as a Forensic Anthropologist since the late 70's and have worked with Matt since the time he arrived in 2009. As the Chief Deputy Coroner, Matt supervises and directs the actions of coroner investigators in their efforts to identify deceased individuals. I have been impressed with Matt's professionalism, compassion, and his commitment to continuing education for himself as well as other members of the coroner's office. I heartily endorse Matt to be the next Coroner.

— Diane France, Ph.D., D-ABFA
Forensic Anthropologist

I have always found Matthew Canaga to be dedicated, knowledgeable and hard working. I feel with his experience that he is the best candidate for the job.

— Jennifer Graham
Albany County Coroner

It goes without saying that Matt has the support of many of his peers within the Colorado forensic community. It has been my personal experience that Matt consistently shows his desire to create excellence within the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. Matt’s passion to be a model Coroner's Office within Colorado and his awareness of the ever-changing field of medicolegal death investigation warrants my endorsement.

— Emma Hall
Boulder County Coroner

To the people of Larimer County, I met Matt Canaga about 1.5 years ago while applying to be an autopsy assistant at the Larimer County Coroner’s office. To no surprise, I did not get the job. My resume stems back to four years of active-duty military service in the United States Air Force, neuroscience research/publication on Alzheimer’s Disease, an internship at a non-profit that supports young adults impacted by cancer and multiple sclerosis, managing a medical scribe program, and coaching multiple levels of youth/military soccer. I had 0 experience in death investigation. A month after being rejected, Chief Deputy Canaga, called me to offer me a position at the Coroner’s office. He has since become the best leader that I have ever come to work for within my lifetime. There is no one that I could endorse more highly for the position of Larimer County Coroner. Matt Canaga has a long list of accomplishments. I would like to share some personal examples of my time with him that cannot be measured on a resume to help reveal his character. He is someone who leads from the front. Matt’s position as Chief Deputy Coroner held no obligation to aiding morgue assistants with autopsies. Yet, I cannot count the number of times that he has stepped in to mop the floors, take out the trash, and put on gloves himself to teach autopsy assistants personally. His experience is unmatched. Chief Canaga not only serves families in some of their toughest times, but he also serves everyone in the office down to the “lowest” person. In my time, he also continued to pick up 24-48 hours shifts on call to aid investigators while managing his chief duties for investigators. Matt’s leadership, service, and thoughtfulness are all things that, in my experience, is unmatched. He is a person that I look up to and yet Matt always emphasizes that no one is ever looking up or down at him. Matt Canaga simply meets them at eye level exactly where they are. Respectfully, James Cockrell

— James Cockrell
Former Forensic Autopsy Assistant - Larimer County Coroner's Office

I would like to extend my offer of support and endorsement for Matt Canaga as a candidate for the Office of the Larimer County Coroner. I have known Matt for over 10 years and have found him to be very professional, straight forward and knowledgeable about all aspects of death investigation. Since Matt has become the Chief Deputy Coroner for Larimer County, Matt has been a pleasure to work with. He is always willing to take the time to answer any questions that we have and is willing to share his knowledge. By electing Matt Canaga as the Coroner, the citizens of Larimer County could be assured that their Coroner’s Office would still be operating at the highest level of competence that it has under the leadership of the previous two Coroners.

— Randy Gorton
Kit Carson County Coroner, Past President of Colorado Coroner’s Association

As the prior coroner of both Weld County and Jefferson County, I’ve been privileged to know Chief Deputy Coroner Matt Canaga as a consummate professional who is well prepared to become the next elected Larimer County Coroner. Matt has already demonstrated the key attributes needed for the job. He has a clear understanding of forensic science and he knows how to serve grieving families with compassion and integrity. And as the current chief deputy, Matt has the critical experience with budgeting, personnel and office management necessary to smoothly transition the office to a new administration. Without reservation, I am pleased to endorse Matt Canaga for Larimer County Coroner. Carl A. Blesch, MMS, PA, D-ABMDI

— Carl Blesch
Retired Coroner of Weld County and prior elected Coroner of Jefferson County

To Whom It May Concern: I am pleased to offer this letter of public endorsement for Matt Canaga as he seeks the office of Larimer County Coroner. I have served with the Morgan County, Colorado Coroner Office since 1969 – as a deputy coroner and as coroner. I have known, and worked with, Matt during his entire career with the Larimer County Coroner Office. My experience with Matt has always been very positive. Matt is very knowledgeable, professional and has always been very willing to consult with our agency on different death scene cases. His integrity is very impressive – he is very respectful and treats everyone fairly and equally. He is a very dedicated family man and deeply cares about his faith and his church family. Sincerely, Don Heer Morgan County, Colorado Coroner

— Don Heer
Coroner of Morgan County, CO

I am pleased to endorse Matt Canaga as a candidate for Larimer County Coroner. As Jackson County Coroner, I have had the opportunity to work with Matt the last few years in his capacity as Deputy and Chief Deputy Coroner for Larimer County. He has experience and knowledge as one of 170 certified death scene investigators in the State of Colorado. Matt is professional and capable, and I feel he will be an asset to Larimer County as the next Coroner.

— George Crocket
Jackson County Coroner

I support Matt Canaga in his candidacy for Larimer County Coroner. I have always appreciated your professionalism and know that he will continue to serve the citizens of Larimer County with the same care that Dr. Wilkerson has. I look forward to working with him in the future.

— Dallas Bowin
Washington County Coroner and Bowin Funeral Home

It is with complete trust in Matthew Canaga that I give him my endorsement to be your next Larimer County Coroner. Having worked with Matt for over 12 years, and watching his expertise in death investigations, staff training, and office management; Matt would be a perfect fit for Larimer County. His experience and professional credentials speak loudly for an individual who can give Larimer County the best Coroner. Matts investigating of the cause and manner of death and his empathy to the grieving family and friends of the deceased has always been of utmost importance to him. Having been in the Coroner in Logan County for the past twenty years, and a mortician for 50 years, its which this background that I give Matt Canaga my full support.

— Dave Tennant
Logan County Coroner and Tennant Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC

In the time that I have known Matthew Canaga, he has served in the capacity of autopsy assistant, and investigator with Dr. Patrick Allen, and as Chief Deputy to the Larimer County Coroner, Dr. James Wilkerson. Over time, he has proven himself to be a leader and it extremely skilled in all areas. I fully support Matthew Canaga in his decision to run as Larimer County Coroner. His attention to detail, as well as his outstanding work ethic, has helped Larimer County maintain its integrity and as your Coroner he will continue to work hard for the citizens of Larimer County. I hold Matthew Canaga in high regard as an upstanding colleague, and am honored to endorse him.

— Rebecca Reid
Laramie County Elected Coroner

I have known Matt for several years. I first met him at the Colorado Coroner's Trainings. From that first meeting I knew Matt had a heart and passion for the Coroner's Office. His compassion, knowledge, experience and professionalism is so obvious the minute you talk to him. Without hesitation I endorse Matt Canaga to be the next Larimer County Coroner.

— Brenda Bock
Grand County Coroner, ABMDI-D, Past President of the Colorado Coroner's Association

Matt Canaga is Larimer County’s Chief Deputy Coroner, and as our elected Coroner, Matt will continue to serve the people of Larimer County with compassion and professionalism. When someone from our community dies, it’s sad. Over the past decade as a licensed physician I have witnessed firsthand Matt’s commitment to never draw hasty conclusions; to always follow due process; to investigate every death fully and fairly. I am voting for Matt because he is the best person to continue to lead our Coroner’s office. -John L Bender, MD, MBA, FAAFP Past President Larimer County Medical Society Past President Colorado Medical Society

— John L. Bender, MD, MBA, FAAFP
Past President, Colorado Medical Society

Larimer County Colorado Voters, I have known Matt Canaga in a personal and professional setting for the past 5.5 years. I can confidently say, Matt is the best person to serve the community in death investigations as the next Larimer County Coroner. In a death investigation capacity, I have seen first-hand his attention to detail, investigation skills and compassion for families that have encountered one of the hardest days of their lives. Matt’s integrity and character are unmatched and he excels in this field. Throughout his 12 year career as a Medicolegal Death Investigator, he has obtained continuing education in several aspects of death investigation, is proficient in scene work, forensic autopsies and administrative tasks that are crucial for operations within the coroner’s office. He has excellent leadership skills and leads by example in his position as Chief Deputy Coroner. Matt has an abundance of knowledge and values regular training and presentations with his staff and local agencies. Matt’s humble, servant heart is evident in his personal and professional life and he gives it his all to serve and to serve well. He is not only a leader but also has the ability to work as a team and put others' needs before his own. This has been demonstrated to his staff, family, friends and through his time serving in the United States Marine Corps. Matt is a man of strong faith whose light shines to those who need it most. I believe Matt’s purpose is to serve, lead, educate and love and I can’t think of a better person to deliver in this capacity. Matt Canaga has my full endorsement and I trust he will continually fulfill the needs of the community well!

— Christina Mestas
D-ABMDI

I have had the privilege to work with Matt Canaga for almost five years and without question, he lives his life with a servant's heart. He changed his life plan to become the Chief Deputy Coroner for Larimer County when the office needed him the most. Matt truly cares for his family, his staff, and the citizens of Larimer County. Matt has been an autopsy assistant, a Deputy Coroner Investigator, and now the Chief Deputy Coroner. In all roles, his attention to detail, respect for the deceased, compassion for their families, and kindness to all people is beyond compare. I wholeheartedly endorse Matt Canaga to be the next Larimer County Coroner.

— Janet Probst

Matt's service to Larimer County over the past 12 years has been unwavering and unmatched! He is the clear choice for the future of Larimer County.

— James MacNaughton
Former Larimer County Chief Deputy Coroner

I am endorsing Matthew Canaga for Larimer County Coroner because of his experience as a chief deputy, his 13 years of experience in serving the citizens of Larimer County, his collaborative nature within the coroner community, and his desire to create transparency within his own community. Matthew also has a passion for teaching other agencies about the coroner's work, such as, the local police agencies and police academies, along with teaching at the Colorado Coroners Association. He is the type of professional that we need to be the next Larimer County Coroner

— Annette Cannon
Jefferson County Coroner
I am delighted to hear that Matt is moving to take on the Coroner position in Larimer County. I certainly hope that he will be elected to that position. I know that Matt will be a blessing to the folks he will serve. In the past 13-years I have known Matt to be diligent, and his work ethic is to be highly commended. Matt brings so many skills that are needed to help families of decedents understand what has transpired, in any type of traumatic event. — Philip Martin
Platte County Coroner
It is with honor and enthusiasm that I write this letter to extend my support and endorsement to Matt Canaga as candidate for Larimer County Coroner. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Matt for over 10 years and have watched him grow professionally from death investigator and autopsy assistant, to now Chief Deputy Coroner. Matt continues to show the utmost professionalism, integrity, and loyalty to not only the citizens of Larimer County for which he serves, but also to his office and coworkers when they need him most. As a fellow Chief Deputy Coroner, I am continually impressed by Matt’s competency, commitment, and work ethic, and rely on his knowledge and modesty often. I can confidently say under Matt’s leadership as Coroner, the citizens of Larimer County will be assured the highest level of commitment and compassion they deserve when dealing with the death of a loved one. — Joey Weiner
Chief Deputy Coroner
Larimer County Colorado voters, My name is Gerald (Jere) Gunderson, I am writing this letter to show my endorsement of Matthew (Matt) Canaga as our next Larimer County Coroner. I worked alongside Matthew (Matt) Canaga as a Larimer County Deputy Coroner/Death Investigator for 8.5 years starting in 2009. The role of Deputy Coroner/Death Investigator requires a strong competence in multiple areas. These include interacting with many different types of people and situations during the challenging time and circumstances related to an individual’s death. At different times it requires working very closely with Law enforcement and with medical staff and personnel. It encompasses doing all that can be done to find answers for grieving family members. During my years working with Matt, I found him to be extremely competent in all areas of the job. Matt’s most recent responsibilities have been as the Chief Death Coroner (supervisor) of the Coroner’s Office. In that role he has instituted a number of upgrades to the office, including adding more staff, redoing job roles and procedures, upgrading the information flow to include more online applications, and formalizing the hiring process. Matt regularly took classes to improve his death investigation skills and he has continually worked on completing his B.S. degree in his spare time. He is a high character family man who is known for treating everyone fairly and equally. He deeply cares about making the Larimer County Coroner’s Office the best it can be in meeting the needs of the citizens of Larimer County. The Larimer County Coroner’s Office has a long history of providing excellent work and service to the community. Matt has shown that he is the right man to have this excellent level of service continue into the future. I am honored to be able to support Matt Canaga for Larimer County Coroner. Thank You — Jere Gunderson
Former Larimer County Deputy Coroner / Investigator
I have known Matt since he was hired by our office, over 12 years ago. He impressed me from the first day as having integrity, professionalism, honesty, and an incredible work ethic. He consistently exhibited these qualities in every situation, including some extremely difficult cases, both physically and emotionally. He cares deeply for Larimer County, as well as for each individual involved in these difficult situations. I can without hesitation state that with his knowledge and experience, he would be the best, most qualified person to be your next Coroner. — Dianne Fairman
Retired Larimer County Chief Deputy Coroner, 23 years

Law Enforcement

Endorsements from our Law Enforcement community.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Matt for more than a dozen years. His experience and professionalism have earned him great respect among the community as well as his peers. Join me in supporting Matt to be our next Larimer County Coroner. — Justin Smith
Larimer County Sheriff

As the former District Attorney for Larimer County, I am well aware that having an experienced Coroner is critical for public safety. Matt Canaga has demonstrated that he has the experience and professionalism that Larimer County citizens need and deserve. Matt Canaga will serve with honor and distinction.

— Cliff Riedel
Former District Attorney, Eighth Judicial District

I have had the pleasure of knowing Matt for the last decade and working with him in multiple capacities. Matt regularly made guest appearances in my high school forensics classroom, demonstrating his commitment to service and community education regarding medicolegal death investigation, outside of the traditional roles and duties within the Coroner’s office. For the last five years, Matt has been a professional colleague and we have worked a number of death investigations with our respective agencies. Matt continues to serve with a level of compassion and professionalism that I am proud to associate with. I have no doubt in his ability to lead through example and with great integrity and I am honored to endorse Matt Canaga for Larimer County Coroner.

— Darcie Fedak
Crime Scene Investigator, CCSI

Matt and I have worked on too many death cases to count over the last 15 years; he as a Coroner’s Investigator and me as a deputy and detective. I could always count on Matt being the most professional, compassionate and impeccably detail oriented investigator. I’ve watched him comfort those who just lost loved ones as well as look at a death scene with the utmost respect for the recent decedent, regardless of the circumstances. Recently, as both our roles transitioned into leadership/administration, I valued the continued relationship and professionalism between us and our agencies, in large part due to Matt’s eagerness to work together and accomplish everyone’s goals. I whole-heartedly endorse Matt Canaga for the next Larimer County Coroner.

— Ben Hess
Lieutenant (ret.) Larimer County Sheriff’s Office

I have worked countless cases with Matt and have always been impressed with his empathy for the family, attention to detail, and passion for justice. Matt is always vested in finding out what happened for the family and supportive of the investigative process. He is easy to work with and never lets ego get in the way of the truth. I’m thankful that a man like this is running for office. I trust him with the delicate nature of death and the detailed nature of this work.

— Siobhan Seymour
Founder
I am honored to endorse Matt Canaga for the position of Larimer County Coroner. As a Criminalist and Crime Scene Investigator I worked with Matt from the time he started with the Larimer County Corner’s Office until I retired in 2020. Over the years we worked more death scenes together than I care to count. I was always glad to see Matt representing the Coroner’s Office at the scenes because I knew he was competent, well trained, knowledgeable, and most of all cared about doing the job right. No matter the time or conditions Matt can be counted on to do the job right. Doing a death investigation properly is not as Hollywood portrays it in the plethora of CSI shows found on TV. It takes time, knowledge, patience, skills that one develops over the years, and a caring attitude. Most of all, it takes someone who can think outside the box, as every death investigation is unique. While Matt and I worked many cases together, two cases stand out. The first speaks to his commitment and determination and the second to his compassion. The first case was a brutal homicide that we arrived at around 9 am and didn’t leave until 10:30 pm. There were special concerns about evidence destruction if standard procedures weren’t followed. This evidence in question, by law, was under the control of the Corner’s Office. Matt, understanding the potential ramifications to the case if the evidence was damaged, called the Coroner and received permission for a variance in the collection procedure. The evidence was preserved and became a critical factor at trial. The second case involved the death of infant who had unexpectedly passed away in the middle of the night, only to be found by the parents the next morning. The parents were having a very difficult time with their child being taken by the Coroner’s Office. Matt very compassionately made arrangements for the parents and family to have time with the child. He then sat at the kitchen table with them, gently interviewing and providing them counsel as to the needs and procedures for this type of death case. Matt exemplifies the traits needed and desired for Larimer County Coroner. For more than 30 years Larimer County has been very fortunate to have been under the extraordinary leadership of Dr. Patrick Allen and Dr. James Wilkerson. The people of Larimer County have experienced a Coroner’s Office, that in my opinion, is second to none. Please support Matt Canaga in his quest to continue to build upon the excellence that has become the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. — T. Daniel Gilliam
Criminalist/Investigator Larimer County Sheriff's Office (Retired)
I am pleased to support Matt Canaga for the position of Larimer County Coroner. I worked with Matt for many years investigating traffic crashes in Larimer County. Matt always had the interest of the victims and families foremost in mind while maintaining a critically high level of investigative integrity. Always calm, professional and thorough, Matt exemplifies the high standards, traditions and excellence that the Larimer County Coroner's office has maintained since I began working with them in 1994. There is no doubt that Matt will maintain this high standard and continue to provide excellent service as your elected coroner. — Bob Rood
Sergeant, Colorado State Patrol (Retired)
I met Matt many years ago when he was going through the police academy. He has since gone on to be a competent and effective member of the Coroner's Office. I have always known Matt to be a man of high moral character. His integrity and drive are what set him apart from others. — Paul Gregory
Matt is a man of integrity and has a servant's heart. — J Roth
Law Enforcement

Funeral Homes

Endorsements from local funeral homes

I am delighted to endorse Chief Deputy Coroner Matt Canaga for the office of Coroner for Larimer County. I've known and worked with Matt from the beginning of his tenure with the Coroner's Office. He has always served with care, concern and integrity in his position. I was so pleased when he rose to his current position of Chief Deputy Coroner because I knew the office would continue to run effectively and smoothly while each individual the office investigated would be treated with the sensitivity and dignity we in funeral service strive for every day. Surviving family members deserve his expertise and leadership Matt's servant leadership style and proven record of hard work and personal accomplishments towards self improvement have always impressed me. He would be the best person for the office of Coroner for Larimer County in this upcoming election.

— Chris Goes
Owner/President of Goes Funeral Care, Fort Collins

I support and back Matt Canaga as the next Larimer County Coroner. He has the experience and knowledge the Coroner would need. He has the knowledge of the situations that come forth with the position as Coroner. He is excellent with people and with the personnel that come to him for information. With his experience as a Coroner Investigator and Chief Deputy Coroner over the years gives him the top knowledge to handle being the Coroner.

— David Viegut
Owner and Manager of Viegut Funeral Home

I have known Matt Canaga for over 13 years and confidently endorse his candidacy for Larimer County Coroner. Matt has the necessary attributes to lead the office of the Coroner in the coming years. His dedicated service to Larimer County over the past decade speaks volumes about his honesty, integrity and dedication to the Coroner's Office. His endorsement by the current Coroner is a strong statement about his ability to carry on the tradition of being one of, if not the best, run coroner's offices in the state of Colorado. Matt Canaga is a compassionate man that has a unique ability to properly and gently deal with a grieving family in the worst moments of their lives. Please join me in supporting Matt Canaga for Larimer County Coroner. He is the right choice to uphold the standards of the office.

— Steve Vessey
Funeral Director - Vessey Funeral Service

U.S. Marines

These are endorsements from those who have fought along side Matt during his time in the U.S. Marines

I have had the pleasure of serving for and learning from Matt Canaga for the past 19 years. Integrity, Love, and Servant Leadership are his keystones. In the occupation of Law Enforcement and community representation, Matt has served his Country and local government in a way few can match. I trust Matt with my life. He is my Brother on this journey of life. He is a true Hero, Husband, Father, and Leader.

— Bryce McDonald
Chief of Staff - UCLA Football

Matt and I served together in the Marine Corps from 2003-2007 as infantrymen, with two tours to Iraq. Matt received numerous commendations during this time, including the Purple Heart medal for wounds he sustained in combat. What stands out most to me, though, is how quickly Matt illustrated to his peers and command staff the superb mindset and high degree of courage and ability that he possesses. The men in our unit experienced heavy combat on a regular basis throughout our tours, but early on Matt was involved in a very harrowing incident involving another Marine that was badly injured. Although Matt was a junior Marine at the time, he showed his excellent leadership abilities by taking decisive and immediate action in a terrible situation. His actions earned the attention of our unit command, which ultimately led to his meritorious battlefield promotion to the rank of Corporal, a non-commissioned officer rank rarely achieved by a Marine with as little time in the Marine Corps as Matt had. Matt went on to finish his time in the Marine Corps with an outstanding level of duty and commitment, and he maintained the respect of his command staff, peers, and those in his charge. When I left the Marine Corps, I went on to become a deputy sheriff in Nevada. In my 13 years in this career I have held many assignments within my department, and have seen much of what is needed to be successful in law enforcement. Matt absolutely encompasses it all. In all the years I have known Matt he has shown consistent and unshakable honesty, integrity, courage, and strength. He has a work ethic that is unmatched, and I have always seen him strive to do what's right in all aspects of his life. Between my time in the Marine Corps, time in college, and time in law enforcement, I have seen numerous examples of character and leadership ability ranging from mediocre to good. Excellence, however, is a very rare trait; Matt is at the very top of this list. I know that anyone that votes for him for this position will not be let down or disappointed, and will have their expectations fully met. I am beyond proud to have served alongside Matt, and I have no doubt you'll be proud to have him as your county coroner.

— Derrick Kepler
Deputy Sheriff

Matt and I both served together in the Marines, and continued serving our country within the law enforcement community afterwards. Having known Matt for nearly 18 years, I cannot express how loyal, devoted, talented, and compassionate he is. I’ve talked with Matt almost weekly over the past 18 years; he’s been a rock that I can lean on in both my professional and personal life. As others have said, I look up to Matt. He is a true leader, and loves his family and community. I wholeheartedly endorse Matt as the Larimer County Coroner. Jeff Dancker, Sergeant San Pablo Police Department

— Jeff Dancker
Sergeant

Matt Canaga was one of my finest Marines in Ar Ramadi, Iraq in 2004 and I've personally seen his core values of honor, courage and commitment first hand in the midst of very trying times. His hard work, ethics and dedication are second to none and make it easy for me to fully endorse him for this position! Larimer County will be fortunate to have him in this position! Rob Scott Captain, USMC

— Rob Scott
Captain, USMC

I served with Matt in the Marines and as one of my junior Marines, he quickly passed me in rank. This was due to his hard work, dedication and stellar leadership capabilities. Matt doesn’t take shortcuts, as there are none when it comes to success and servant leadership. The position Matt is being called to as Coroner is a position centered on tragedy and loss. Matt knows tragedy and loss, as this is what he dealt with as a 20 year old Sergeant of Marines. Matt is also a man of God and comes to this position with a Biblical perspective; much needed when dealing with the seriousness of death investigations. Larimer County would be blessed with his service and leadership. Semper Fi.

— Joe Hayes
Mr.

I had the honor of serving in the United States Marine Corps with Matt. Matt is one of the most honorable and intelligent men I’ve ever met. Matt is a true leader who treats people with dignity and respect.

— Brian L

Matt Canaga is a man I look up to. Having known him for over fifteen years, I can confidently say that he is a man of compassion, and a true professional. I would trust him with the care of my family. He will certainly speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves, and will pour every ounce of his available effort and passion into doing the job well. He has my highest and most enthusiastic endorsement. -Lieutenant Colonel Jared Reddinger, USMC

— Jared Reddinger
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps

I am pleased to endorse Matt Canaga as he seeks to continue his dedicated public service as the Larimer County Coroner. From our time together as Marines, and for many years since, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Matt use his considerable talents and intelligence in service to others. From his family, to his country, to his community, to his law enforcement partners, and even to complete strangers on mission trips to Africa; Matt has embodied “service over self.” Matt Canaga has dedicated his life to service. His professionalism is unmatched and his character is unimpeachable. The people of Larimer County will be lucky to have him continue his service as their Coroner.

— Nicholas Darrah, MBA
Sr. Director of Stakeholder & Government Relations

Matt Canaga is a faithful servant leader and someone I've had the privilege of serving alongside in the Marine Corps. Matt is someone I admire for his professionalism and ability to lead. I always circle back to Canaga's leadership lessons to implement in my professional life as a military infantry officer and civilian nurse. Matt's ability to positively affect people's lives is inspiring. He truly is an honest, humble person.

— Christopher Stout
RN

Personal (Friends & Family)

These are endorsements from those who know Matt on a personal level.

I have known Matt personally for 10 years. First and foremost, he is a honest, caring, and hard-working individual. Competency is the most important attribute for the role of Coroner. His experience and training are unequaled. He is clearly the best candidate for coroner!

— Rob Woodward
Senator

I have known Matt Canaga for the past 13 years. In that time, I have seen him grow and evolve in all facets of his life. Matt always pushed himself as an investigator to learn every aspect of the job and never accepted anything but excellence from himself. In speaking with members of the Larimer County Law Enforcement Community, Matt is well respected as not only an investigator in his own right, but also as a "Boots On The Ground" leader of his office who looks out for his people, supports them in the difficult work that they do, and strives to make sure that they have the tools and technology they need to serve the decedents that they are called to attend to, the families of those decedents, and the people of Larimer County as a whole. Outside of work, I have seen Matt pour into the lives of men in the community by pushing them to be better versions of themselves and supporting them through the processes that they face. I have no doubt in my mind that as Coroner, Matt will continue to serve with the same level of compassion and integrity that he has displayed in all his years of service.

— Maury Miller

Matt is the clear choice and will make an excellent Larimer County Coroner. He not only knows the importance of excellent forensic investigations, but his experience with the office has made him and the office a leader in dealing with families in their most trying times with much needed compassion.

— Steve Johnson
Former Larimer County Commissioner
Hello All, I am Honored & Proud to endorse Matt Canaga as your next Coroner for Larimer County. I have known Matt 12 years. He is highly regarded in the Colorado Coroner's Association (CCA) as a dedicated, very competent, and caring medicolegal death investigator. His compassion for the family of deceased persons is well received and appreciated by those he contacts at the time a loved one dies. I know this personally as Matt handled the death of my 28 year old daughter in 2010. Matt is kind, respectful, and thorough in how he investigates each case. His knowledge is outstanding and he has all the qualities to do the job in the field at a scene, run the office as an administrator, and supervise his deputy coroners. I urge you to for VOTE Matt Canaga Coroner Larimer County Nov. 2022. — Rick Fellabaum

Dear Larimer County Voters, Let me explain why I’m voting Matt Canaga for County Coroner and why I think you should too. Matt and I met three years ago in a men’s Bible study that we both still attend. That group is comprised of several very accomplished guys seeking to be the men God made us to be. Despite an extensive resume of training and real-world experience, Matt continues to sharpen his abilities professionally and personally. A short conversation with him reveals a man accomplished in these areas more than most. But that conversation also reveals humility. Humility is a rare trait in politics today. Truth in personal actions and thought are paramount to Matt. The desire to present well reasoned thoughts in a genuine and kind way lead Matt to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Denver Seminary. He has no desire to push his beliefs where they are not wanted, but the man deals with death on a daily basis. One must be well grounded in this arena to operate there everyday. All of us only make a brief stop there on the way out... Matt makes his living there. All that translates to integrity. Integrity is a rare trait in politics these days. I have been a pilot at major airline for the past 17 years. Prior to that, I served a career in the Marine Corps. Most of that time spent flying jets. Some of the skills required to do that job are learned while others are innate; you need to know your job extremely well, be able to consistently make sound and timely decisions under pressure, and adapt as the ever-changing circumstance dictates. You learn to recognize those abilities in others pretty quickly. Not surprisingly, these are traits shared with most Marines. Especially combat Marines, of which Matt is one. I don’t work with Matt, but our common ground here paints a very telling picture of Matt’s professional ability; Matt knows and does his job extremely well and is well practiced in making sound and timely decisions while under considerable pressure. How about adapting with changing circumstances? That is the forte of the Marine in Matt. Decision making and adaptability, those are rare traits in politics these days. Matt and Christy have three beautiful kids. Why does this matter concerning your next County Coroner? Because if that next coroner is Matt, that family will be an enormous part of the equation. I’ve listened to him explain his work and talk about family concerns all in the same conversation. Chief Deputy Coroner, Matt’s current position, is the kind of job you take home with you. If not in responsibility, then in mind. Matt has a special ability to balance the raw conditions of his profession with being a husband to a remarkable wife and dad to three amazing children. That is a very unique position to be in. And Matt handles that unique position with grace, compassion, and a gentle-strength....I know of no one in politics that possess those traits these days. I’ve never written a political endorsement before in my life. I am a husband, dad, retired Marine, and current airline pilot. Why am I doing so now? Because this position is unlike any other that you will vote for. One day, each of us may find ourselves lying on the coroner’s table. If I am in that position, I want the person running the coroner’s office to be humble, be strong in integrity, able to make sound decisions, adaptable to the inevitable changes concerning the manner of my death, have rock-solid integrity, and most importantly... have the gentle-strength to share grace and compassion with my family. Those traits define Matt Canaga. That’s why I’m voting for Matt and why I think you should too, Craig Wingard

— Craig Wingard
Matt cares for the community and especially educating the young men and women of our school system. He has taken his personal time to present valuable information about the consequences of risk taking behavior in teenagers. He wants what is best for our community and goes the extra mile to make that happen. — Kevin Johnson
Health and Physical Education Teacher
To the Residents of Larimer County, Those of us who know Matt Canaga know this: he is a warrior and a protector. Matt Canaga is a man of deep character, a man who fights to protect his faith, his family, his values, and his community. Matt has not only fought (and lived through) a literal war, but he also understands the innate desire for peace at home, at work, in Larimer County, and in the civic arena. If I know anything, I know that Matt Canaga will use all his gifts, talents, and character to fight the good fight in being the most professional, ethical, and caring Larimer County Coroner. Dan Foote — Dan Foote
Mathew Canaga is an exceptional leader and individual with a superb record and unlimited potential. He has served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps and as Civilian Leader. I have known Mathew for 18 years and I can truly say he is the shining example of what a servant leader is. He brings a wealth of experience, positive leadership, professionalism, and integrity fostered from his tenure on active duty serving with Infantry units in combat and in the Law Enforcement community. Mathew is the type of leader we need today! — Brian Callaway
Matt is a true professional. He has and will continue to serve with integrity and leads by example. — T Waters
Matt is not only competent, but he has a compassionate heart that would make him uniquely suited for those affected by loss. — Devin Arinder

 


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