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

Report: State’s Neglect Of Elder Abuse Cases ‘Deep And Pervasive’

A scathing report was released Tuesday about a state agency charged with investigating elder abuse in Minnesota.


Minn. Legislators Consider School Safety Funding After Parkland Shooting

In Minnesota, Republicans are proposing an idea that would use money districts already have to improve student safety, but Democrats say that’s not enough.


Gun Control Bills Stall Out At Capitol

Democratic lawmakers and proponents of stronger gun laws say their efforts aren’t over.


Reality Check: Gun Deaths In Minnesota

Gun control advocates say more Minnesotans are dying from gun violence than opioid use or car crashes, but is that true?


Dayton Open To ‘Any And All’ Gun Safety Solutions

The Florida school shooting that shocked the nation is sparking tough debate about access to guns, and school safety.


Lawmakers Fume As MNLARS Asks For $10M Infusion

The state’s newly appointed IT commissioner told state lawmakers Tuesday that if they don’t get the money, critical workers could be laid off or leave immediately.


Minn. GOP Legislators Propose Statewide School Security Overhaul

Top Republican Senate leaders today proposed a major overhaul of security systems at Minnesota schools.


‘Protect Minnesota’ Rallies For Gun Violence Prevention At Capitol

Protesters swarmed the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda Thursday, demanding action this year on gun safety.


Reality Check: Who Uses SNAP And What Does It Cover?

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal includes a major overhaul of America’s food stamp program.


Relatives Of Elder Abuse Victims Give Powerful Testimony At Capitol Hearing

Dozens of families demanded action at the State Capitol Wednesday after their loved ones were abused in Minnesota senior care facilities.


Fast-Paced, Election Year Legislative Session Kicks Off At Minn. Capitol

This is the election year version of the Minnesota Legislature, which means lawmakers are packing a lot of tough issues into a very short time.


Protesters Swarm Minn. Capitol, Calling For Gun Control

Wearing red shirts and carrying signs, the group Moms Demand Action is calling for stricter limits on access to guns and stronger background checks.


Reality Check: More Minnesotans Own Guns, Violent Crime Remains Low

Minnesota set a record last year for the number of gun background checks the FBI conducted in the state.


Reality Check: The True Cost Of DACA

Thousands of young people in Minnesota and Wisconsin could face arrest and eviction from the United States.


Gov. Dayton Seeks To Tax Each Opioid Pill Sold In Minn.

Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a sweeping plan Wednesday to fight Minnesota’s growing opioid abuse crisis — including a steep tax on drug manufacturers.


House Addiction Task Force To Be Helmed By Lawmaker Who Battled Addiction

The Minnesota House is creating a new Task Force on Addiction and Recovery. It’s headed by a state lawmaker who is now publicly revealing his own lifetime struggle with addiction.


BNSF Backs Out Of Blue Line Extension, Leaving Project In Limbo

The Bottineau Blue would start in downtown Minneapolis and run to the quickly growing northern suburbs.


Border Patrol, patch

Reality Check: Immigrants And Crime

The tragic death of an Indianapolis Colts football player has reignited the debate over illegal immigration.


Walz, Johnson Lead Gubernatorial Straw Polls Amid Pawlenty Speculation

Tim Pawlenty, who already served as governor from 2003 to 2011, recently left his position at a Washington lobbying firm.


Reality Check: Super Bowl Ticket Prices

There are still tickets left for Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium — if you’re willing to pay for them.


Reality Check: Are NFL Fans More Conservative Or Liberal?

Football is the most popular sport in America, and its fans are the most passionate — and overwhelmingly bipartisan.


Reality Check: The NFL’s Super Perks

The NFL is getting millions of dollars in perks for holding Super Bowl 52 at U.S. Bank Stadium.


Reality Check: What Is ‘Take A Knee’ Really About?

The president says NFL owners should fire players who kneel, calling it an attack on the national anthem and the flag.


Reality Check: What Was In Minnesota’s Amazon HQ Bid?

Minnesota made a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters, but didn’t make the cut. Why? We may never know — no one will say what was in the bid.


Minn. Senate Committee Hears Elder Abuse Cases

Minnesota state officials say it will take at least six months to clear a massive backlog of abuse complaints at senior care facilities around the state.




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