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

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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.


(credit: Rep. Keith Ellison/Twitter)

Dems Hail House Sit-In A Success; Republicans Call It ‘Publicity Stunt’

The Orlando massacre prompted dramatic action by House Democrats, who ended a raucous 24-hour sit-in Thursday to get a vote on gun control.


(credit: Minnesota Vikings)

Eagan Hopes Vikings Relocation Will Make It A ‘Destination City’

The Minnesota Vikings are officially moving from Eden Prairie to Eagan. The Eagan City Council unanimously approved the Vikings’ plans to build a new headquarters and training facility in the Twin Cities suburb.


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Reality Check: Trump’s Campaign Funds

Trump is reporting that he has $1,289,508 cash on hand. That’s less than many candidates in state races, including Minnesota and Wisconsin.


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Will Gun Laws Pass In The Senate? Not Likely

The U.S. Senate was slated to vote Monday on four different amendments related to gun control and terrorism. None of the measures, however, are expected to pass


Senators Amy Klobuchar & Al Franken. (credit: C-SPAN)

Minnesota Senators Join In Gun Control Filibuster

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy seized the floor unexpectedly on Wednesday morning, trying to force a Senate vote on two gun safety measures.


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Home Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright On Sale In St. Louis Park

One of the few surviving Minnesota houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is on the market in St. Louis Park, a Minneapolis suburb.


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Appeals Court Throws Out Ventura’s $1.8 Million ‘American Sniper’ Award

A federal appeals court on Monday threw out the $1.8 million defamation verdict awarded to former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura.


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Free Public Tours Set For U.S. Bank Stadium

If you’re wondering what the inside of U.S. Bank Stadium looks like, here is your chance to find out. The Minnesota Sports Authority is offering free tickets, starting Friday.


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Minnesota State Rep. Pens Controversial Letter About Police Use Of Force

The head of the Minneapolis NAACP is reacting strongly to a letter to the editor from a powerful Republican lawmaker.


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Dayton Lets $260M Tax Relief Bill Die, Eyes Special Session

Gov. Mark Dayton let a $260 million tax relief bill die overnight Tuesday. The bill included tax relief for farmers, college graduates and parents with child care costs. But it also had a wording error in it that could have cost the state more than $100 million


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Republicans Call On Governor Dayton To Sign Tax Relief Bill

Major tax breaks for farmers, students and parents are at risk if legislative leaders don’t call a special session soon to reach an agreement.


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Dayton Says He’ll Veto Tax Bill Containing Crucial Typo

Gov. Mark Dayton said Friday he will veto a recently-passed tax bill unless state lawmakers agree to his demands to call a special session on other issues. If the bill goes down, many popular items will go down with it.


(credit: Minnesota Vikings)

Tax Bill Mistake Could Hit Vikings Suite Owners July 1

A one-word mistake in a tax bill passed by the 2016 legislature could end up costing millions.


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Dayton Spells Out Conditions For Possible Special Session

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday he won’t call a special session until top lawmakers agree to a list of projects.


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Fight For Control Of Minnesota Legislature Begins

The race for control of the legislature has begun, even though the 2016 session still has unfinished business.


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Dayton: Lawmakers Punished H.S. League Over Transgender Policy

Gov. Mark Dayton says Minnesota lawmakers punished the State High School League because of Republican opposition to the league’s transgender athlete policy.


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World-Renowned State Capitol Artwork Being Restored

A remarkable conservation effort is underway to save the world-famous paintings and murals inside the State Capitol.


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Gov. Dayton Surprised By $32 Million Tobacco Tax Break

Minnesota’s largest anti-smoking advocacy groups denounced a tobacco tax break Tuesday, which passed on the last day of the 2016 legislative session. Those groups are now pressuring Gov. Mark Dayton to veto the entire tax bill.


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Both Parties Pointing Fingers As Legislature Ends In Chaos

The Minnesota Legislature ended Sunday night without passing the biggest bills of the year. And as the smoke clears Monday, the finger pointing has begun.


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Public Works, Transportation Bills Remain In Session’s Final Hours

Minnesota lawmakers scrambled Sunday to finalize their plans for a $900 million budget surplus.


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Bakk Says It’s Unlikely For Transportation Bill To Pass

Lawmakers have until midnight to figure out what to do with the state budget surplus, road and bridge funding and a massive public works bill.


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Workers Memorial Mural Almost Finished At State Capitol

It is a monument to nobody famous. But the unusual memorial taking shape on the State Capitol Mall is for people who are seldom celebrated.




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