Joel Crank is a self-proclaimed fiscal and social conservative, whose interest in politics began as an eight-year-old boy when his father ran for Congress. Years later, Crank now serves as an elected delegate from the fifth congressional district of Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Crank is currently 18.

“This is my first case where I get to get involved with politics,” Crank said. “I’m just excited to get there and be involved.”

Crank said he decided to run for the delegacy this past February.

“I heard about the chance to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention,” Crank said. “I thought this was an amazing opportunity to get involved, so that’s how kind of how I got here.”

His plight for delegacy turned out to be a two-month procedure for him.

Crank said he was first elected to represent his county and congressional districts. It was not until Crank advanced to the state assembly level that he could he run to become a national delegate.

He said running takes much more than just him filling out paperwork so people could vote for him — it became a process involving much more work than he anticipated.

“It was a lot of work — it was weeks of emails and making phone calls and stuff like that,” Crank said. “I campaigned for this.”

Crank said that out of about 84 people who ran, voters were only able to select three delegates and three alternates. He said he is pledged to Ted Cruz.

Now, after the hard-fought battle, Crank said his strategy for the Republican National Convention is to “just take it as it comes.”

Crank said he looks forward to seeing the variety of motives and opinions held by delegates nationwide.

“I’m excited to just kind of go and learn what’s on other people’s minds from other parts of the country — that’s what most interesting to me,” Crank said. “The issues here in Colorado are completely different from issues that are on the east coast or even the west coast — completely different issues — so I think that’s going to be awesome.”

He’s also looking forward to “entering into the political world,” his dream since boyhood, to see democracy accomplished firsthand.

“I think it’s going to fun to see the democratic process at work and see a representative republic in the process.”

Crank said he’s excited to observe and participate as the week unfolds.

“This is my first convention,” Crank said. “I have no idea what to expect.”