J. Patrick Coolican | Star Tribune
Reporter | Politics and state government

Patrick Coolican began his career by starting a website and following the 2000 presidential campaign. Before coming to the Star Tribune, he was a longtime reporter in Las Vegas.


For Minnesota's 2018 gubernatorial candidates, it's decision time

Hey, Hamlet: It’s time to decide. It’s that time during the election cycle when a bunch of potential candidates are weighing whether their party has…


Minnesota Nurses Association endorses Rep. Erin Murphy for governor

  The Minnesota Nurses Association endorsed Rep. Erin Murphy’s campaign for governor Wednesday after a vote of the union’s board of directors. “Nurses decided to…


Mild-mannered state lawmaker Matt Dean seizes early edge in GOP clash for governor

Despite a persona that's pretty much the opposite of the president, Dean has emerged as an early leader in the still-forming Republican field.


Teachers to spend big in 2018; single-payer test for Dean Phillips

In a sign of how seriously it is taking the 2018 election, Education Minnesota is upping its political action committee dues by $10 per year.…


Sen. Al Franken draws ire — and negative ads — of conservative judicial activists

Republicans are furious with Franken for blocking the nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the federal bench.


Gov. Dayton says Minnesota's Amazon HQ bid to be 'restrained'

Dayton cited the importance of local companies Target and Best Buy, which are both competitors to the online retailing giant.


Dayton, Legislature head for high-stakes mediation

The Minnesota Supreme Court's ruling threw the dispute back to the state's politicians with a message that might be summarized this way: Not our problem. Fix it yourselves.


Running an outsider campaign has its downsides

Word is that Keith Downey, former legislator and state Republican Party chairman running for governor, is lighting it up on the hustings as he runs…


DFL candidates for governor line up behind pot legalization

Most of the DFL's leading candidates for governor support legal cannabis for recreational, not just medicinal use


Longtime labor leader retiring after years as DFL power broker

Eliot Seide to retire from powerful labor job, leaving union strong but under assault.