There’s always excitement in the air in a TV Newsroom on Election night. Everyone’s working at night. People are fanning out across the state to cover all the big races: the amendments, the competitive U.S. Congressional districts, the party headquarters. I’m sad that we’re not covering the soil and water commissioners. I have a warm spot in my heart for the soil and water commission candidates.

The strangest thing about election night is the free food. A news director would be literally killed if he or she did not provide food. There are boxed dinners for the crews in the field, pizzas for the people in the newsroom. Why? I’m not sure. But it is tradition. And don’t mess with TV news people and their right to have free food.

I shot this video when all the crews started arriving at work today:

I remember watching my first election night in 1984. Ronald Reagan versus Walter Mondale. I was a 9-year-old in suburban Chicago, already dreaming of a future in broadcasting. On this night, I pinch myself: The kid who loved politics, history, and broadcasting gets to be on television sharing the next chapter of our nation’s history with you.

See you at 10!

Jason DeRusha