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: Women In Politics

Women make up more than half of the population, but only a small percentage of elected officials.


For 1st Time, Minnesota Will Send 2 Female Senators To Washington

Smith will serve in Franken’s stead until a special election can be held in November 2018.


What Happens Now After Franken’s Resignation?

Franken’s replacement will serve less than a year, until a special election in November 2018. The winner of the special election will serve out the last two years of Franken’s term.


Reality Check: The ‘Trump Bump’ And You

When you hear that everyone is reaping the rewards from the surging stock market — don’t believe it.


Dayton: Elections To Fill Legislative Seats After Resignations Will Be Feb. 12

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has set a special election date for two seats vacated by lawmakers who faced sexual harassment allegations.


Another Woman Accuses Franken Of Sexual Misconduct As Investigation Begins

An Army veteran said that Franken cupped her breast in December 2003, during a USO tour photo op.


Reality Check: Franken And The Ethics Committee

Sen. Al Franken says he’ll cooperate fully with an Ethics Committee investigation, but what does that mean?


Before REAL ID Deadline, MN Outsources Drivers Licensing Services

The IT company will provide the software, implementation services, conversion, and training for Minnesota’s driver’s license IT system.


Will Franken’s Apologies Change Any Minds?

On TV, and in written statements, Sen. Al Franken has repeatedly apologized after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.


A Reality Check On The Estate Tax

House and Senate Republicans in Washington have high hopes this Thanksgiving holiday.


2nd Woman Accuses Franken Of Sexual Harassment

A Minnesota woman says Sen. Franken grabbed her backside in 2010 while the two took a photo at the State Fair.


Reality Check: Sexual Harassment In Politics

A growing number of women in politics are going public with stories of harassment — and it’s not just here in Minnesota.


‘Atrocities’: Dayton Speaks Out On Capitol Harassment Allegations

As sexual harassment allegations continue to mount at the State Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton spoke out for the first time on camera since stories surfaced last week.


‘We’re Not Going To Take It Anymore’: Minn. Lawmaker Details Harassment From Colleagues

DFL Representative Laurie Halverson says she’s been harassed “many times” at the State Capitol, by lawmakers from both parties.


Reality Check: Is Most Media Coverage Of Trump Negative?

An exhaustive study of Trump’s early days in office found media coverage was more negative than the presidents who preceded him.


GOP Majority Leader Threatens Gov. Dayton With Senate Shutdown

Minnesota’s Republican Senate leader says he is preparing to lay off staffers and close down the Senate if a budget impasse with the Democratic governor goes much longer.


Reality Check: Gun Violence In The U.S.

The Sunday mass shooting in a small town in Texas is one of hundreds of mass shootings in the United States this year.


Reality Check: Trump’s Accomplishments, So Far

The president’s agenda has suffered a number of setback since he took office, even though Republicans control Congress and the White House.


Minn. Senators Lead Fight Against Foreign-Funded Online Ads

The United States Senate opened hearings Tuesday on Facebook, Twitter and Google to figure out how to handle subversive and violent online content posted by foreign countries.


Dayton Calls Trump’s Tax Plan ‘Offensive,’ A Boost For The Rich

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton denounced Monday the Republican tax plan in Washington, saying it could cost thousands of dollars for nearly a million Minnesota taxpayers.


Release Of Some Long-Classified JFK Assassination Files Delayed

President Trump had signaled he would allow all of the documents to be released unless U.S. intelligence agencies give him a reason not to.


Reality Check: Winners & Losers Of Republican Tax Plan

Despite a lack of details on the coming tax bill, the White House is promising a $4,000 raise for the average family.


Cyber Security Increasingly Becoming A Concern For Lawmakers

In this digital age where computers, smartphones and even baby monitors are vulnerable to hacking, cyber security experts are speaking out in Minneapolis.


Judge Who Reviewed Secret Files Says ‘It’s Time’ To Release JFK Documents

The last batch of classified government documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination are set to be released Thursday.


‘We Are All Outraged’: Lawmakers Pushing To Repeal Federal Drug Law

Top Minnesota lawmakers are asking Congress to repeal a controversial new law they say is actually making the opioid problem worse.




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