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 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.

And Pat’s popular “Reality Check” segments separate fact from fiction in a political world that is often more fiction than fact.

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

He’s an avid reader, involved in many local volunteer programs and exhibits a particular fondness for baseball.

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

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Republican Lawmakers Move To Restrict Transgender Bathroom Use

Minnesota lawmakers unveiled a bill Wednesday banning transgender people from using bathrooms different from their biological sex.


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Child’s Death Prompts Bill For CO Detectors On Boats

Minnesota lawmakers moved quickly on Tuesday to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats with enclosed spaces.


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Lawmakers Seek $15 Million For Highway 12 Safety Upgrades

Area lawmakers are asking for $15 million for emergency safety upgrades for a deadly stretch of Highway 12 in the west Twin Cities suburbs.


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State Senate Takes 1st Steps Toward ID Upgrades

The Minnesota Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to start planning for high-security Real ID driver’s licenses on Monday.


Asma Jama after attack (credit: CBS)

MN Sen. Committee Votes To Stiffen Bias Crime Penalties

A Minnesota Senate Committee voted Friday to place much tougher penalties on crimes involving bias.


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Legislators Introduce Bill To Legalize Assisted Suicide In Minnesota

It’s called the “Compassionate Care Act”, and gives terminally ill patients the right to take their own lives.


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Dayton Proposes 2016 Budget With $900 Million Surplus

Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday unveiled his wish list for the 2016 Minnesota Legislature. The Governor released new ways to use the state’s $900 million budget surplus.


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State Capitol Steps Undergo Emergency Repair

The Minnesota State Capitol restoration project continued this week, even though the Legislature returned on Tuesday for the 2016 session.


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Gun Safety Bill Would Expand Background Checks In Minnesota

Gun safety supporters took a big step at the State Capitol today. They introduced a bill to require comprehensive background checks for most gun transfers.


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Minn. Lawmakers Kick Off 2016 Legislative Session With Contentious Debate

Minnesota Lawmakers returned to the State Capitol Tuesday for the start of the 2016 legislative session, kicking off the first day with contentious debate that could be a sign of things to come.


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Minnesota Legislature To Meet During Capitol Construction

Minnesota lawmakers will open their 2016 session on Tuesday under most unusual circumstances.


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Democrats Release Paid Family, Medical Leave Proposal

All workers in Minnesota would have access to paid family and medical leave under a new proposal unveiled by a group of Democratic state legislators.


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11th GOP Debate Was Wildest, Most-Watched Yet

The Motor City Melee was hot, both online and on the air. Nineteen-million people watched the insult-a-thon, which was Nielson’s highest TV debate ratings of the year.


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Minn. Lawmaker Calls For Switch From Caucus To Primary

Opponents of Minnesota’s precinct caucus system are renewing calls to do away with the state’s participation-intensive voting process. Rep. Pat Garofalo announced Tuesday night as votes were coming in that he planned to author a bill to replace the state’s caucus system with a presidential primary.


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Sanders Campaigns In Minnesota, Hoping For A Win Super Tuesday

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Monday held his third Minnesota campaign rally in four days, making a push to precinct caucuses on Super Tuesday.


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Lawmakers At Odds Before Legislative Session Starts

It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again: Minnesota lawmakers are preparing to return to the State Capitol. Lawmakers are starting right back up where they left off last year, and last year didn’t end well.


Keith Downey & Ken Martin (credit: CBS)

GOP, DFL Chairmen Predict Record Super Tuesday

Minnesota’s top political leaders are predicting a strong turnout next week at the Minnesota caucuses. The leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties say it could even rival the record turnout in 2008.


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Reality Check: Minnesota Matters In 2016 Caucuses

A number of presidential candidates are focusing on Minnesota ahead of the state’s caucuses, which are set for one week from Tuesday. For the first time, Minnesota is joining many other states for the Super Tuesday contests.


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U.S. Bank Stadium Needs Up To $4M In Repairs

The U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis was touted as being 90 percent complete earlier this week, but now it needs repairs that could cost up to $4 million. According to a spokesperson from Mortenson Construction, roughly one-third of the exterior panels on the stadium will have to be removed to fix water damage.


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Biden Highlights Stimulus In Visit To St. Paul

Vice President Joe Biden is making a stop in St. Paul. Biden was scheduled to appear at the Union Depot train station Thursday morning to mark the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package.


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Dayton: Vikings Would Be L.A. Bound Without New Stadium

Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday that the Minnesota Vikings would be moving to Los Angeles if the state had not built a new stadium. The Governor’s comments come as the new downtown Minneapolis facility is 90 percent completed.


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Officials Say Rail Safety Has Improved, Though Some Are Still Skeptical

Railroad officials in Minnesota told state lawmakers today they significantly improved their safety records in 2015.


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That Time Donald Trump And Jesse Ventura Talked Campaign Strategy

Donald Trump’s “outsider” campaign for president is nothing new to Minnesota voters — it’s very similar to the one that elected former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura in 1998.


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Sanders, Clinton Speak At Minnesota DFL Fundraiser

A major fundraiser Friday night brought both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to St. Paul River Centre. It was the annual Humphrey-Mondale dinner.


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Drivers In Southern Minnesota Forced Off The Roads

Southern Minnesota is facing the brunt of the Groundhog Day snowstorm — school was canceled for kids in Rochester and Albert Lea.




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