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

(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

After 2nd Debate, Minnesota Republicans Continue Trump Exodus

Some Minnesota Republicans are distancing themselves from Donald Trump Monday.


GOP leaders hold press conference on MNsure (credit: CBS)

Minn. GOP Calls For Special Session On MNsure Crisis

One state lawmaker is calling the MNsure situation “serious as a heart attack” — literally.


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Pence, Kaine Face Off In 1st And Only VP Debate

A new CBS News poll shows that fewer than 15 percent of registered voters believe a vice presidential choice has a great deal of influence on their vote.


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Reality Check: Twins Suffer Record Losses In 2016; Wasn’t Target Field Supposed To Stop That?

In a game where numbers rule, the 2016 Minnesota Twins set a record they never wanted.


(credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Monday Night’s Debate Was The Most-Watched In History

Monday night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump drew at least 81 million viewers.


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Clinton, Trump Clash In 1st Presidential Debate

The suspense has been building for weeks. Trump, the unpredictable outsider. Clinton, the first woman to lead a national ticket.


(credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

100 Million Could Watch The 1st Presidential Debate

About 130 million people voted in the last presidential election, and 100 million could watch Monday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.


Screen shot from anti-Jason Lewis ad (credit: DCCC)

TV Ads Link Lewis, Paulsen To Trump Campaign

National Democrats unveiled a major television ad campaign Wednesday against two Minnesota Republican Congressional candidates.


Gov. Mark Dayton (credit: CBS)

GOP Demand Dayton Rescind Severance Payments To Top Officials

Minnesota Republican leaders Tuesday demanded that Gov. Mark Dayton rescind large severance payments to three top administration officials who voluntarily resigned.


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Mills, Nolan Face Off In 8th District Debate

The top candidates in Minnesota’s hotly contested 8th Congressional District race squared off in their first debate today.


Angie Craig and Jason Lewis  (credit: CBS)

Calls For 2nd District Candidate Lewis To Release Archive Of Controversial Radio Show

Minnesota’s top Democratic women leaders are demanding that a Republican Congressional candidate release radio archives of his controversial political talk show.


(credit: Friends Of Erik Paulsen)

Reality Check: Paulsen Ad Paints Bonoff As Serial Tax Raiser

Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen is going negative in his 3rd District Congressional race. Paulsen’s new TV ad accuses Terri Bonoff of being a serial tax-raiser.


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Reality Check: Erik Paulsen & Donald Trump

National Democrats are running a tough new TV ad linking Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen to Donald Trump.


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Tim Kaine Makes Campaign Stop In Minnesota

It’s the Virginia senator’s first visit to Minnesota as the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee.


Donald Trump (credit: CBS)

Minnesota Supreme Court Dismisses DFL Lawsuit To Take Trump Off Ballot

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday rejected an effort by Democrats to strip Donald Trump’s name from the November ballot.


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After Heinrich Plea, Lawmaker Calls For Greater Sentences For Sex Offenders

As details emerge surrounding Danny Heinrich’s sentence, some lawmakers are calling for tougher sentences for sex offenders.


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Republican Stewart Mills Talks Politics At Minnesota State Fair

Except for one brief Republican term, Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District been reliably Democratic for decades.


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A Taste Of Politics At The Minnesota State Fair

If the State Fair is the Great Minnesota Get-Together, politics at the fair has the feel of family argument at the dinner table.


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Minn. Transit Officials Scrambling To Find Funds For Southwest LRT

Minnesota’s top transit official says the state will begin shutting down the project next week if the state doesn’t find funding to continue.


Trump supporters being sprayed with spray paint (credit: CBS)

GOP: Mayor Hodges Is Blaming Trump Supporter Assault Victims

Minnesota’s Republican Party accused Minneapolis’ mayor Wednesday of blaming the victims of a protest that turned ugly.


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Reality Check: Attack Ads In The Nolan-Mills Race

Congressman Rick Nolan, the Democrat representing Minnesota’s 8th District, is running a television ad responding to what he calls a “smear” campaign by his opponent, Republican challenger Stewart Mills.


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DFL Chair Says Trump Protesters ‘Crossed The Line’; GOP Wants Answers

Top Republican leaders are demanding answers Monday after violence against Donald Trump supporters attending a fundraiser with the candidate in Minneapolis.


Mark Dayton and Kurt Daudt (credit: CBS)

Gov. Dayton: Special Session Talks Are Dead

Minnesota’s governor and top legislative leaders Thursday gave up their plans to call a special session to finish all the work left undone from the regular session in May.


(credit: CBS)

3rd District Candidates’ Debate Sidetracked With Mentions Of Trump, Clinton

The top contenders in Minnesota’s hotly contested 3rd Congressional district squared off for the first time in a debate Wednesday.


Donald Trump (credit: CBS)

Minn.’s Secretary Of State Disputes Trump’s Rigged Voting Claims

Minnesota’s top election official rejected claims Tuesday by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump of a “rigged” voting system.




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