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

Reality Check: President Trump’s Travel Ban

More than 1600 refugees came to Minnesota in 2016 from the banned countries, most from Somalia.


Relief Bill To Help Minnesotans With Skyrocketing Premiums

Help is coming for thousands of Minnesotans hit with skyrocketing health care premiums.


Minnesota Lawmakers Push Back On Trump’s Immigration Orders

Minneapolis is one of several major cities where police officers do not ask a person about their immigration status.


Trump Sworn In As 45th President Of The United States

It was an historic moment Friday as Donald Trump took the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.


Photo Credit Thinkstock

Bill To Lower Cigar Tax Passes Minnesota House Committee

A Minnesota House Committee advanced a bill on Thursday to lower the tax on premium cigars.


Minn. Lawmakers Continue Debate Over Relief For Insurance Rate Hikes

Minnesota lawmakers are working to offset massive health insurance premium increases for more than 100,000 residents who buy their own coverage.


Undocumented Immigrant Drivers Targeted In REAL ID Bill

A Minnesota house committee approved a controversial bill Wednesday, creating a high-security driver’s license called REAL ID.


Sunday Liquor Sales Bill Approved, Heads To House Floor For Vote

A Minnesota House committee today took the first steps to allowing liquor stores to open on Sundays.


New Bill Would Make Freeway Protesting Serious Crime

Minnesota lawmakers are proposing new legislation to get tough on freeway protesters.


Lawmakers Question U.S. Bank Stadium Officials On Luxury Suites

Stadium officials faced a public outcry after reports the stadium suites were used for friends and family.


Minnesotans With Disabilities Seek Changes In State Spending Laws

Minnesotans with disabilities were at the State Capitol Tuesday to say they are being forced into poverty because of their disability.


GOP HHS Chair: ‘I Don’t Play Chicken’ With MNsure Crisis

There is still no insurance fix for 125,000 Minnesotans facing monthly insurance rate hikes.


GOP Wants Relief Package, Income Cap For MNsure

Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature have their own plans to address health insurance costs. GOP lawmakers vowed to quickly move a relief package for the residents paying premium increases of up to 67 percent this year on the individual market.


Gridlock As Lawmakers Consider Emergency Health Care Bill

Republicans, who now control the legislature, say any rescue package must also include reform.


As 2017 Session Starts In Freshly-Renovated Capitol, Governor Predicts Gridlock

Two-hundred recently-elected lawmakers took their seats in the newly restored State Capitol Tuesday, which has been closed to the public for about three years.


Civil War Flags Return To State Capitol As Restoration Nears Completion

A milestone at the Minnesota State Capitol Friday night, marking the near-completion of a three-year renovation project.


Reality Check: How Does Santa Visit Every Home?

When we see a man with a white beard, a red suit and a big belt, we assume it’s Santa Claus.


Reality Check: Voting Irregulaties In 2016

Six weeks after the turbulent presidential election, top Minnesota officials say there’s no evidence of illegal voting in the state, especially the kind President-elect Donald Trump predicted.


Minnesota Electors Cast Votes For Clinton As Trump’s Win Is Made Official

Emotions ran high across the country as Electoral College members met to formally cast their votes, electing Donald Trump as the next president.


Republicans Say Losing DFLers Shouldn’t Be Getting Job Loss Benefits

Minnesota House Republicans are crying foul after DFL staffers on the losing end of the 2016 election were granted benefits from the state’s Dislocated Workers Program, which is normally used for mass layoffs from private companies.


Dayton: Lawmakers Should Disclose U.S. Bank Stadium Suite Usage

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Tuesday he is satisfied with a new policy at U.S. Bank Stadium that restricts free tickets for friends and family members of stadium commissioners.


Stadium Officials Bar Freebies For Friends and Family At U.S. Bank Stadium

Stadium officials also made public a list of people who used the suites for free, including some well-known Minnesotans.


Reality Check: New Citizens Council To Set Lawmaker Pay

State voters approved a constitutional amendment in November setting up a “Legislative Salary Council” to decide how much legislators should get paid.


Ellison Calls Farrakhan ‘The Mistake In My Past’

Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison expressed regret today for his past association with Louis Farakhan and the Nation of Islam.


Ellison Rethinking If He’ll Have To Leave Congress

The 5th District congressman is considering whether to resign his seat in Congress.




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