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

Tim Pawlenty Ad Blasts GOP Opponent Jeff Johnson

Pawlenty’s ad accuses Johnson of proposing property tax hikes, supporting a sales tax hike and of spending millions of dollars on Obamacare.


How Will Tariffs Affect Trump Voters In Minnesota?

Minnesota producers expect to get slammed by the new China tax, according to the Minnesota Trade Office.


Hard Partisan Divide Over Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

The vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation is expected by October, putting it front and center for most of the midterm elections.


Canadian Tariffs To Hurt MN Companies, Farmers

Minnesota trade officials say local companies will be hit by more than $600 million in tariffs as a result of an escalating trade war.


Reality Check: Are Illegal Immigrants ‘Pouring’ Over U.S. Border?

President Trump says “zero tolerance” enforcement is necessary because illegal immigrants are suddenly surging across the border.


Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces Retirement

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says he’s retiring, lining up a 2nd pick for the court from President Trump.


‘Deeply Disappointed’: Ellison, CAIR React To SCOTUS Upholding Travel Ban

Rep. Keith Ellison and the Council of America-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are quickly reacting after the Supreme Court voted to uphold President Trump’s travel ban Tuesday.


Is Donald Trump Turning Minnesota From Blue To Purple?

Minnesota is now less Democratic blue, and more Republican red. Let’s call it purple.


Richard Painter Ad Calls Trump Administration ‘Dumpster Fire’

Richard Painter’s first campaign ad places him in front of a literal dumpster fire to describe what he says is happening in Washington.


SCOTUS Strikes Down Minnesota’s Voter Clothing Law

Minnesota had defended its law as a reasonable restriction that keeps order at polling places and prevents voter intimidation.


Reality Check: Canada’s ‘National Security Threat’ To U.S.

Minnesota companies will be hit with huge tariffs on products they export to Canada starting July 1.


Reality Check: Trump’s Tariffs & Canadian Retaliation

The president cites national security for imposing a 25 percent tariff on Canadian steel, and 10 percent on aluminum. Canada is reciprocating, and Minnesota iron ore is a target.


Doug Wardlow Thinks He’s The Republican To Retake The AG Office

Minnesota Democrats have a boisterous five-way contest for attorney general and won’t have a winner until the August primary. Meanwhile, Republicans want to recapture the attorney general’s office for the first time since 1971.


Reality Check: Pushing Pause On Refugee Resettlement In Minnesota

Minnesota’s endorsed Republican candidate for governor is calling for an end to refugee resettlement in Minnesota.


Rep. Keith Ellison Files To Run For Attorney General

Just hours before the Tuesday deadline, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison filed to run for attorney general, leaving his seat in Congress up for grabs.


Minnesota DFL, GOP Hold Nominating Conventions

Several key election year positions are up for endorsement, including the coveted seat of Minnesota’s governor.


Tim Pawlenty Announces Lt. Gov. Fischbach As Running Mate

Pawlenty is not planning to attend the Republican party convention. He has said he’ll make his case to voters in the Aug. 14 primary instead.


Reality Check: Do Candidates Need Party Endorsements?

Minnesota Republicans and Democrats hold conventions this weekend to pick candidates up and down the election ticket.


Gov. Dayton Signs Bonding Bill, But Isn’t Happy About It

Governor Mark Dayton has signed the majority of this year’s bonding bill, despite having serious concerns over the amount of money it dedicates to certain projects.


Lawmaker Describes 990-Page Vetoed Omnibus Bill As ‘Heap Of Garbage’

The dust is settling after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the biggest bills of the 2018 Legislative session: the tax and budget bills.


What’s The Reason For Rising Gas Prices?

Gas prices are rising, and on Wednesday Democrats said it’s all President Donald Trump’s fault.


Dayton Vetoes Tax Bill While Visiting Elementary School

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the big tax bill of the year Thursday, setting the stage for a rocky end of the 2018 legislative session.


Reality Check: 1 Year Of The Mueller Investigation

Thursday marks one year since the special counsel was appointed in the 2016 election investigation.


Legislature Passes Tax Bill, But Governor Promises Veto

House Speaker Kurt Daudt says he hopes a possible veto comes quickly to give the Legislature time to craft a new bill.


End Of The Road For Hands-Free Driving Bill

Supporters of the bill told WCCO they were unhappy that the bill was not being brought up for debate.