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.

The case for and against Erin Murphy for governor

Looking at turnout, the candidate favored by the metro is going to be tough to beat.

Swanson defends Nolan's record in reply to #metoo allegations

In a late interview, the attorney general and one of the three DFL candidates for governor defends her running mate against the accusations that he didn't react strongly enough to harassment situation.

Rep. Jason Lewis' 'slut' radio comments resurface in new report with audio

Comments he made on his provocative show are getting a wider airing.

Ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty focuses on immigration in bid for old job

The immigration debate has emerged as a polarizing cultural fracas in recent years, but Pawlenty said it's not a new issue for him.

What the early campaign ads tell us

The muddled DFL field for governor has created a challenge for Republican ad makers who would like to go on the attack now.

Tim Pawlenty takes on GOP opponent Jeff Johnson in his first ad

The ad is a sharply negative attack on the Hennepin County commissioner, who is his Republican primary opponent for governor.

Simple name recognition often the key to winning office in Minnesota

The August primary will be a big test of the salience of name ID.

Outstate DFLers sweat all-metro ticket of Murphy-Quade

Democrats worry that a growing metro bent could leave the DFL's rural constituencies increasingly endangered. Even if DFLers can continue to win statewide races with big vote margins in the Twin Cities, a loss of rural support makes it tough to restore legislative majorities.

Republican endorsed in state House race declared bankruptcy

The Republican-endorsed candidate for state House in a western Hennepin County district declared bankruptcy in 2010 with more than $1 million in liabilities and a…

Minnesotans can now buy lottery tickets on smartphone but legal status debated

After a test run, the service offered by a New York-based company has started, but opponents are lining up.