Introducing Virginia’s next governor to viewers

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe thanks his supporters at a campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., on Nov. 5, 2013.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe thanks his supporters at a campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., on Nov. 5, 2013.

It was like a repeat of Nov. 6, 2012. Just a different candidate in a different Virginia city.

The setup at gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign party in Tysons Corner, Va., reminded me a lot of covering Tim Kaine’s party in Richmond last year. However, this year, things became a bit more hectic.

First of all, my station held an election special from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., so that was an additional two liveshots from the party, on top of my 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. hit. Around 9:30, I began gearing up for the 10 p.m. hit. I interviewed Virginia’s House Minority Leader, cut a soundbite and began sending it back to the station. I wrote some bullet points in my notebook that I wanted to touch on in my liveshot. I dabbed some makeup on my cheek to cover up a razor nick from shaving earlier in the morning.

Around 9:50, I tweeted the following:

Live report on WAHU FOX27 in 10 minutes from #McAuliffe HQ. Lots can happen in 10 minutes. #VAGov

I jinxed it.

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz celebrates when the Virginia governor's race is called for Terry McAuliffe.

DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz celebrates when the Virginia governor’s race is called for Terry McAuliffe.

Around 9:58 p.m., most major media outlets called the race for Terry McAuliffe. I was standing next to DNC chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who was doing an interview with the station to my left. As soon as CNN, McAuliffe’s broadcast station of choice, declared the race to the crowd, everyone went wild.

And I threw my script away.

I never expect timing to be on my side. And honestly, it’s more fun when I’m winging it on air. When the anchors tossed to me at the election night party, the crowd was still going crazy, screaming, waving signs and just having a good time. They set the scene for me. All I had to do was step out of the way.

OK, so now I have to worry about my 11 p.m. liveshot. We were watching a live broadcast of challenger Ken Cuccinelli giving his concession speech, and I took a few notes. But we were pushing the top of the hour. At 10:48, McAuliffe took the stage and began his speech.

He talked through the start of the 11 p.m. broadcast.

Once he wrapped up, it was my turn to talk.

Once again, I set the scene then stepped out of the way to let the camera tell the story. As my photographer extraordinaire Mike panned the stage, I recapped some points that McAuliffe touched on in his speech.

And in two minutes, it was all over.

Timing was not on my side for this election coverage, and I prefer it that way. The end result is more authentic, more raw. And, I think, more fun.

See for yourself.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxytveOlIOw%5D
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