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: CBS)

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.


(credti: John Moore/Getty Images)

Top Minnesota Republicans Mixed On Trump

In Minnesota, Republican leaders are uneasy with Donald Trump as the GOP candidate.


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Reality Check: Stewart Mills Ad On Syrian Refugees

A tough new television ad from Republican Congressional candidate Stewart Mills accuses Democratic Congressman Rick Nolan of being weak on terrorism.


(credit: Minnesota Vikings)

Vikings Break Ground On New Eagan Headquarters

While the Minnesota Vikings are away at training camp in Mankato, team officials will be making headlines closer to the metro.


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Dayton, Daudt Call For Mental Health Facility Improvements In Rare Show Of Unity

Minnesota’s top political leaders toured the state’s toughest security hospital at St. Peter Monday to assess how to fix the aging and outdated facility.


(credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Dayton Speaks On Last, Historic Night Of Dem Convention

Hillary Clinton will make history Thursday night when she becomes the first woman in American history to lead a major political party.


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Bill Clinton Aims To Rewrite The Story On Hillary, But Did It Work?

Last night, former President Bill Clinton spoke about his wife, striking a more personal tone about the arc of their relationship and her professional résumé.


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Day 1 Of Democratic National Convention Marked By Division

The Democratic National Convention opened in Philadelphia Monday morning but it isn’t the city of brotherly love for Democrats.


(credti: John Moore/Getty Images)

Day 4 Of The Republican National Convention: Hits & Misses

Thursday was a historic night for Republicans in Cleveland.


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Day 3 Of The Republican National Convention: Hits & Misses

On Friday night in Cleveland, Donald Trump will officially accept the Republican nomination for President of the United States.


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Day 2 Of The Republican National Convention: Hits & Misses

On Wednesday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will take the stage at the GOP convention, but once again, people are talking about Donald Trump’s wife and her speech from the opening night.


(credit: CBS)

Day 1 Of The Republican National Convention: Hits & Misses

On the first night of the Republican National Convention, there was plenty showmanship and drama.


(credit: CBS)

1st Day Of RNC Focuses On Terrorism, Immigration

The greatest political show on Earth is unfolding in Cleveland, Ohio, this week.


(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Minnesota Republican Delegates Share Message Of Unity At RNC

On the convention floor Monday, some of the delegates attempted to change the rules to stop Donald Trump’s nomination.


(credit: CBS)

Former Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson Dead At 83

Former Minnesota Governor Wendell Anderson has died at age 83, according to a statement from Gov. Mark Dayton’s office Sunday morning.


(credit: John Sommers II/Getty Images)

Minnesota’s Republican Delegates Expected To Line Up For Trump

Minnesota is the only state in the country that Marco Rubio won, which commits a majority of delegates to vote for the Florida senator on the first ballot. But Minnesota’s Donald Trump delegates are unfazed.


(credit: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

4 Officers Walk Out Of Lynx Game Over Black Lives Matter Shirts

A police union official says four off-duty Minneapolis officers working a WNBA game walked off the job at the city’s Target Center arena Saturday after Minnesota Lynx players wore pregame warm-up jerseys supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.


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Reality Check: Are Black Drivers Pulled Over More Than White Drivers?

Protesters are angry about what they say is unequal treatment of African-American drivers by police. Is that true?


(credit: CBS)

Report Shows Minnesota Traffic Deaths Rose 14 Percent In 2015

Numbers released Thursday show there were 411 deaths on Minnesota roads last year, up 14 percent from 2014.


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Businesses Seek State Law To Preempt Local Labor Laws

Minnesota’s top business leaders are pushing for a state law to stop cities from adopting sick leave and minimum wage policies.


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Dayton Appoints 1st American Indian To Sit On MN Supreme Court

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Anne McKeig to the Minnesota Supreme Court Tuesday.


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Minn. Trains 5,700 First Responders For Oil Train Derailments, Explosions

State emergency officials say they have trained 5,700 first responders since 2014 on what to do in case of an oil train derailment and explosion.




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