Pat Kessler

Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He’s been on the beat longer than any other TV reporter in the Twin Cities, covering state government, politics, campaigns and conventions since 1984. Pat “pulls back the curtain” on what’s happening in government with stories both amusing and annoying, as well as reporting information you need to know to keep up on the issues that affect you most.
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Joined WCCO: 1984
Hometown: Hawley, Minnesota
Alma Mater: Macalester College

Music: My playlist right now: Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Tom Waits, Aaron Copeland, Jack White, Black Keys, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Coltrane, Lucinda Williams, Tom Morello, Chrissie Hynde, George Jones, G Love, James Brown, Pink Floyd, Allison Krause, Sharon Jones, Ray Wylie Hubbard
Movie: Coen Brothers movies (especially O Brother, Where Art Thou); The Godfather, parts I & II
TV Show: Perry Mason; Veep; Fargo
Author/Book: William Butler Yeats; TS Eliot; David McCullough; Stephen King; Charles Frazier ; Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years
Local Restaurant: The Lexington
Hidden MN Gem: Lake Pepin Bluff Country
Historical Figure: Teddy Roosevelt; Winston Churchill
Famous Minnesotan: Bob Dylan
Quote: “Simplify and focus.”
Holiday: Opening Day in baseball

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Both
Phone Call or Text Message? Text
Mac or PC? Mac
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Morning Person or Night Person? Both
East Coast or West Coast? East
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Wars

Pat Kessler is Minnesota’s “go-to” political reporter, covering politics and government at WCCO-TV for more than 30 years.

He’s also a popular radio personality specializing in politics, sports, pop culture, and news.

Pat has won numerous state and national journalism awards for his work, including three regional Emmys for his “Reality Check” political franchise.

In 2015, he was honored for lifetime achievement in broadcasting and inducted into the Silver Circle Hall of Fame by the Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Pat studied English and journalism at Macalester College in St. Paul.

Before joining WCCO-TV, Pat was a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, and a technical assistant for “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor.

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most recent stories2 Pat Kessler

12-Year-Old Pushes Lawmakers To Pass Legal Protections For Foster Care Children

A 12-year old Minnesota girl won a long fight Thursday to get legal rights for foster children like her.

4 hours ago

Bill Aiming To Crack Down On Police Impersonators Irks Security Companies

Lakeville Police say they have encountered multiple cases of police impersonators, including one who investigated cases and showed up at crime scenes.


Big Bills Remain Undone As End Of Session Looms

Top Democrats at the Minnesota Capitol are warning the Legislature could be heading toward a chaotic end.


Anti-Abortion Bills Spark Debate Over Women’s Health

The Minnesota House passed two controversial anti-abortion bills Monday night despite the governor’s threat to veto them.


Minnesota Republicans Say They Will ‘Declare War’ On Achievement Gap

Gov. Dayton has made statewide pre-Kindergarten one of his biggest priorities for the remaining two years of his administration.


Anti-Minimum Wage Hike Bill Heading To Governor’s Desk

The Republican-led Legislature is ready to test Gov. Mark Dayton with a bill that would ban Minnesota cities from setting their own minimum wage and paid sick leave rules.


Yet Again, Lawmakers Facing Roadblock Over Transportation

Minnesota lawmakers appear headed for another roadblock over transportation funding.


DFL Minority Leader Not Backing Down From Capitol Sexism, Racism Claims

The top Democrat in the Minnesota House says she will not apologize for calling out her male colleagues, who she says are “silencing” women lawmakers — especially women of color.


Minn. GOP Pushing Several Anti-Abortion Bills Despite Dayton Veto Threat

Minnesota lawmakers are approving a series of abortion restrictions this year — despite a veto threat from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.


Reality Check: The Cost Of Subsidized Transit

While it’s true that taxpayers subsidize every passenger on the light rail, it’s less than you think and less than other common transit systems.


Minn. Revenue Commissioner: Budget Cuts Could Mean Tax Return Delays

Minnesota’s top tax official says deep cuts to state budgets could result in months-long delays to tax returns next year.


Take A Peek At Much-Ballyhooed MN House ‘Retiring Room’

The carved wood paneled room includes original 1905 furniture and light fixtures, as well as a fireplace.


Surprise Pipeline Vote Brings Protesters To State Capitol

The Minnesota House approved a surprise measure Thursday to allow Enbridge Oil Company to complete an oil pipeline across central Minnesota.


Minn. Republicans To File Formal Protest Against Democratic Leader

It all stems from comments about a card game in the House retiring room she made on Monday that they say are offensive.


State Employee Bonus Program Under Investigation

Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor has opened an investigation into a program that rewards workers for saving the state money.


House DFL Leader Won’t Apologize For ‘White Male’ Comment

A top Republican lawmaker is calling for the resignation of the House Democratic leader for comments he says are “racist.”


Minn. House Approves Bill Stiffening Penalties For Mass Protests

The Minnesota House Monday approved a sweeping public safety bill that includes tough new measures to limit mass protests.


Significant, Controversial Bills In Trouble At Legislative Session

Minnesota lawmakers are assembling the biggest spending bills of the year. Some are suddenly in trouble.


House Republican Committee Votes To Abolish MNsure

Republicans on a State House Committee on Wednesday voted to abolish Minnesota’s health care exchange.


Minnesota Republican Lawmakers Unveil Tax Relief Plan

Republicans at the State Capitol today unveiled a far-reaching tax cut plan they say is aimed at middle class Minnesotans.


Republicans Pushing For State To Buy Empty Appelton Prison

Republican lawmakers at the Minnesota Legislature are asking the State Corrections Department to buy or lease the privately-owned prison in Appleton.


Minn. Republicans Eye Big Tax Cuts, Reveal Transportation Plan

Minnesota House Republicans are cueing up cuts to some health care programs and state government agencies while drumming up nearly $1.4 billion in tax relief.


Minn. House Republicans Reject $14K Raise For Legislators

Republican Speaker Kurt Daudt says House lawmakers won’t get that raise — even though voters approved it.


Lawmakers Advance Bills To Block Benefits From Campaign Workers

Minnesota lawmakers are advancing bills to stop political campaign workers from receiving benefits after the election is over.


Advocates Call For Increased Funding To Homelessness Programs

Hundreds of advocates for the homeless came to the capitol Tuesday asking lawmakers to fund programs they say could dramatically reduce the number of people without a place to call home.



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