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

J. Patrick Coolican is a Star Tribune political reporter who began his career by starting a website and following the 2000 presidential campaign. He's been a journalist in seven different states, and in 2013-14 was a Knight Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Coolican is married to Star Tribune visual journalist Leila Navidi, and they have a son named Liam. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he studied philosophy and literature. He has been to nearly 50 Phish concerts, and welcomes your critical disapproval.


IRRRB accused of cronyism in hiring DFL operative

The standard hiring process was circumvented in awarding a civil service job that pays a six-figure salary to a prominent Iron Range Democrat, according to a newspaper report.


Walz appoints Tarek Tomes commissioner of state IT agency

Cybersecurity, aging software and hardware will be major challenges.


Democrats launch ad campaign against GOP state senators, but will it work?

All are vulnerable Republicans in districts where a Democrat holds at least one of the House seats.


At Ranger party in St. Paul, Minn. lawmakers set aside differences, if only for a night

Lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists gather at Mancini's and go retro.


Trump to visit Twin Cities area Monday, White House says

The focus of the visit reportedly is to celebrate President Trump's tax cut act on the day -- April 15 -- that income tax filings are due.


In tax plan, Minnesota DFL looks to corporations for more money, but gives breaks to most families

House plan looks to corporations for more school aid but sets up battle with GOP in Senate.


Gov. Walz's team points to state's future needs with gas-tax plans

The first-term Democrat cites inflation and road repairs. Republican leaders say the increase is not needed in a time of surplus.


Minn. House, Senate head in opposite directions on gas tax

The DFL-controlled House released a massive $7.28 billion, two-year transportation bill while the Republican-controlled Senate transportation committee rejected the gasoline tax hike as well as other tax increases.


Health care battle looms large at Minnesota Capitol

Dueling proposals vie to reshape the market in the state, especially with the rising cost of prescription drugs.


18 months later, MeToo work carries on

The Legislature is an unusual work environment because no one is the boss of the lawmakers, other than the voters.