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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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.


Macy's Hosts Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade In New York City

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


A U.S. Bank Stadium luxury suite (credit: CBS)

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.


A U.S. Bank Stadium luxury suite (credit: CBS)

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.


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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.


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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.


Rep. Keith Ellison (credit: CBS)

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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Dayton: Media Is ‘Sensationalizing’ Reports Of Misused Luxury Suites At Stadium

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says he’s “concerned” about public officials using luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.


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Auditor Investigating Use Of 2 Luxury Suites At U.S. Bank Stadium

Minnesota’s legislative auditor says he’s opened an investigation into the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority’s control of two luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium.


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Dayton, Lawmakers Battling Over Civil War Paintings Inside Capitol

A public fight over art work at the newly-renovated State Capitol erupted into anger on Tuesday.


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Wisconsin Preparing For Recount, But Don’t Expect Change, Officials Say

The state of Wisconsin will begin a recount of its presidential vote on Thursday, but a top state elections official says he doubts the outcome will change.


Mark Dayton and Kurt Daudt (credit: CBS)

Gov. Dayton To GOP: ‘Quit Dilly-Dallying’ On MNsure

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says time is running out to help tens of thousands of Minnesotans facing skyrocketing health care premiums on January 1.


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Minnesota Senate Republicans Targeting Health Care In 2017

Senate Republicans are putting a major emphasis on health care as they take control.


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Minnesota Turkey Industry Bouncing Back After Last Year’s Bird Flu Struggles

Minnesota’s turkey farming industry is roaring and ready for Thanksgiving.


BCA investigates Philando Castile's car (credit: CBS)

Gun Owners Caucus Head: Philando ‘Acted As A Responsible Permit Holder’

Gun rights advocates say Philando Castile did what permit holders are supposed to do during his fatal encounter with police.


Nekima Levy-Pounds (credit: CBS)

Nekima Levy-Pounds To Run For Mpls. Mayor

Civil rights activist Nekima Levy-Pounds is running for mayor of Minneapolis.


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Hundreds Rally In St. Paul Against Dakota Pipeline

The company building the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is urging a federal court to speed up approval of its plan to lay pipe under a Missouri River reservoir, arguing Tuesday that further delays could add millions of dollars each month to the cost.


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Ellison Announces Run For DNC Chair

Rep. Keith Ellison announced Monday afternoon that he’s running for the chair of the Democratic National Committee.


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Republicans Capture Majorities In The State Capitol, House And Senate

The political earthquake that shook the country on Election Day hit the Minnesota Legislature in St. Paul, too, causing a major shift in power.


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Key Minnesota Races In 2016 Election

Unlike most election years, there are no statewide Minnesota races in 2016 such as Governor and U.S. Senate.


Terri Bonoff And Erik Paulsen (credit: Minnesota Senate/CBS)

Paulsen Facing Tough Re-Election Battle With Bonoff In 3rd District

Less than a week before Election Day, a Minnesota congressional race is getting national attention.


Donald Trump (credit: CBS)

Trump Hits Campaign Trail In Eau Claire, Wis.

Donald Trump is taking a run at Wisconsin in the final days leading up to the presidential election.




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