MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) In less than two weeks, delegates selected at Tuesday night's neighborhood caucuses will head to the county assembly. This is the next step in the process to decide which candidates will be on the ballot in June.
Mesa County neighborhoods were out in full force caucusing on Tuesday. This was the first step in the voting process to decide the future of Colorado.
"It's an opportunity for people in the community to come together on a neighborhood basis and talk about candidates and talk about issues,” said Steve Acquafresca, a Mesa County Republican.
Acquafresca is no stranger to caucusing.
"Long tradition in my family, I've been attending them for many years and look forward to them," he said.
He said all key decisions are made at the caucus.
It's a day for both republicans and democrats to start the voting process in this mid-term year.
"The people who you live next to and the people you talk to every day where they stand and what candidates they want to support,” said Chris Kennedy, a registered Democrat and a candidate running for state Senate District 7.
Each Democratic precinct did a straw poll to gauge where the candidates stand. At the precinct at Pomona Elementary School, Jared Polis won the poll.
"That'll make a huge impact and a huge influence on the next round of campaigning with the candidates,” Kennedy said about the straw poll.
Republicans don't do a straw poll for governor candidates, though both parties elect delegates. These delegates will represent their precincts at the county and state assemblies. It's there where they'll support specific candidates.
"This is the first night of decisions for who we want to represent our interests," said Kennedy.
Both parties can agree they want more participation.
The Mesa County assemblies will be taking place later this month. Both parties meet on March 17. The Democrats meet at Central high school in the morning. The Republicans meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Avalon Theater in Grand Junction.