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.
web pat kessler Pat Kessler twitter icon Pat Kessler email icon Pat Kessler

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.

email icon Pat Kessler Request Pat To Speak At An Event

most recent stories2 Pat Kessler

Reality Check: How Much Are The Vikings Worth?

It started in 1961 as The Little Team on the Prairie. It’s now one of the most valuable sports franchises in America.


How A Federal Government Shutdown Will Affect Minnesota

It’s beginning to look like a federal government shutdown is more and more likely, and it could have dramatic effects in Minnesota.


Personal Care Attendant Shortage Looms In Minnesota

Minnesota is losing home health care workers and nurses at an alarming rate — at a time when state officials say we are going to need them more than ever.


Reality Check: Voter Fraud In Minnesota

President Trump claims 3 million to 5 million people voted illegally in the election that he won, but the arithmetic doesn’t support that.


Despite $14K Raise, Lawmakers Still Receive Thousands In Per Diem Payments

Their salary rose from $31,141 a year, to $45,000 — but that does not include money they also receive for their daily expenses.


Political Showdown Brewing Over Lt. Gov. Succession, Control Of Minnesota Senate

Minnesota Democrats are ramping up their calls for Republican State Senator Michelle Fischbach to resign.


State Officials Have No Timetable To Fix MNLARS Problems

Problems at Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services continue almost six months after a computer upgrade. Now government officials are getting involved.


Reality Check: Secret Santas At Minneapolis City Hall

Minneapolis City Council members and the new mayor are ringing in the new year with a bang.


Fischbach: I Will Be Both Lt. Gov., State Senator

Minnesota’s new Republican lieutenant governor says she’ll reject the job’s higher salary as she plans to maintain her seat in the state Senate.


Reality Check: Trump’s 1st Year In Office

This week marks the end of the turbulent first year in office for President Donald Trump.


Reality Check: The State And Local Tax Deduction

For many Minnesota taxpayers, this tax bill is fraught with uncertainty.


Reality Check: Women In Politics

Women make up more than half of the population, but only a small percentage of elected officials.


For 1st Time, Minnesota Will Send 2 Female Senators To Washington

Smith will serve in Franken’s stead until a special election can be held in November 2018.


What Happens Now After Franken’s Resignation?

Franken’s replacement will serve less than a year, until a special election in November 2018. The winner of the special election will serve out the last two years of Franken’s term.


Reality Check: The ‘Trump Bump’ And You

When you hear that everyone is reaping the rewards from the surging stock market — don’t believe it.


Dayton: Elections To Fill Legislative Seats After Resignations Will Be Feb. 12

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has set a special election date for two seats vacated by lawmakers who faced sexual harassment allegations.


Another Woman Accuses Franken Of Sexual Misconduct As Investigation Begins

An Army veteran said that Franken cupped her breast in December 2003, during a USO tour photo op.


Reality Check: Franken And The Ethics Committee

Sen. Al Franken says he’ll cooperate fully with an Ethics Committee investigation, but what does that mean?


Before REAL ID Deadline, MN Outsources Drivers Licensing Services

The IT company will provide the software, implementation services, conversion, and training for Minnesota’s driver’s license IT system.


Will Franken’s Apologies Change Any Minds?

On TV, and in written statements, Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly apologized after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.


A Reality Check On The Estate Tax

House and Senate Republicans in Washington have high hopes this Thanksgiving holiday.


2nd Woman Accuses Franken Of Sexual Harassment

A Minnesota woman says Sen. Franken grabbed her backside in 2010 while the two took a photo at the State Fair.


Reality Check: Sexual Harassment In Politics

A growing number of women in politics are going public with stories of harassment — and it’s not just here in Minnesota.


‘Atrocities’: Dayton Speaks Out On Capitol Harassment Allegations

As sexual harassment allegations continue to mount at the State Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton spoke out for the first time on camera since stories surfaced last week.


‘We’re Not Going To Take It Anymore’: Minn. Lawmaker Details Harassment From Colleagues

DFL Representative Laurie Halverson says she’s been harassed “many times” at the State Capitol, by lawmakers from both parties.



More From WCCO | CBS Minnesota

Good Question
Best Of Minnesota
Excellent Educator

Watch & Listen LIVE