Some candidates pause to attend new National Guard head’s swearing-in at the Capitol

Maj. Gen. Richard Nash was sworn in this morning as the new head of the Minnesota National Guard.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who’d appointed Nash to succeed Lt. Gen. Larry Shellito, administered the oath in the ceremony at the state Capitol.

Also on hand for the ceremony was Sen. Amy Klobuchar and several candidates who took a break from their last-minute campaigning, including DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson.

Nash had been commander of the 34th Infantry “Red Bull” Division, which returned earlier this year from southern Iraq. The state’s National Guard has 14,000 troops, the fifth-largest contingent in the nation.

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