Steamboat Springs resident and Navy veteran Matt Aljanich will compete against four Republicans on the party's Aug. 10 primary ballot for the 3rd Congressional District seat.
Aljanich learned late last week that his ballot petition, which had nearly 2,000 signatures, was certified by the secretary of state's office. His name will appear last on the primary ballot, behind those of Greg Walcher, state Rep. Matt Smith, state Rep. Gregg Rippy and Pueblo County Sheriff Dan Corsentino.
Walcher and Smith earned spots on the ballot by receiving at least 30 percent of delegate votes at the party's June 4 assembly.
Kirsten Fedewa, Aljanich's political consultant, said the fifth spot in the ballot order can be an advantage for the political newcomer because his name will be the last seen by Republicans voting in the primary.
Aljanich, a self-proclaimed "Reagan Republican," said voters will know his name come Aug. 10.
"Being No. 5, I know I'm an outsider, but I also feel when going to the polls people will look for me to vote for," he said Thursday after spending the morning campaigning in Montrose.
Aljanich entered the race late after considering a candidacy since January. He graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in 1984 and attended Colorado Northwestern Community College, as well as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
He is a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War and a lieutenant colonel in the Naval Reserves. Aljanich also is a commercial pilot with United Airlines and co-founded a health-care software company in 2000.
Aljanich has been campaigning across the state's enormous 3rd District, which comprises 29 counties in an area larger than Florida.
State Rep. John Salazar is the leading Democrat in the race for the seat being vacated by Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Grand Junction.
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