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.


Minn. senator sparks online outrage with tweet about Kavanaugh accusations

Sen. Scott Newman, Republican from Hutchinson, writes off sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee.


Minnesota Poll: Evenly split on Kavanaugh before accusation

Minnesotans are evenly split on the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh in a new Star Tribune-MPR News Minnesota Poll taken before an allegation of sexual assault against him surfaced.


Minnesota Poll: Tim Walz leads Jeff Johnson

DFLer Tim Walz holds a 9-point advantage over Republican Jeff Johnson in the race for governor with less than two months to the election. The poll finds about one in six voters still undecided in the race.


Some Minnesota labor groups see upside in backing Republicans

  Recent union endorsements provide clues about the direction of both organized labor and the two parties. The carpenters and their 11,000 Minnesota members endorsed…


Swarm of political ads arrives in Minn., reflecting state's battleground status

Minnesota's airwaves will be increasingly filled with political appeals and attacks.


Ad campaign thrusts health care into governor's race

The GOP gubernatorial candidate fired back, calling the ads "blatant lies."


Will D.C. Republicans come to Karin Housley's aid?

Housley remains unknown to many Minnesotans and will have to distinguish herself from generic Republicans.


Records show Pete Stauber communicated with key GOP group on county e-mail

The Stauber campaign declined to make him available or provide access to the e-mails, which appear to violate a St. Louis County policy.


On the campaign trail, Walz makes big but expensive promises

Tim Walz backs tuition-free college plan, public health insurance and rural broadband access. Can he deliver?


Can Republicans make U.S. Rep Keith Ellison an albatross?

Republicans hope that domestic abuse allegations against U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for Minnesota attorney general, will bring down the rest of his…