Candidates for the department election shaping up

By Tim Engstrom
A color guard member from New Prague Post 45 posts the American flag.

Who from Minnesota will be picked for national vice commander?

REDWOOD FALLS — The 104th Department Convention, hosted by Redwood Falls Post 38, takes place July 13-15 at Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel.

Paul Hassing mugshot
Paul Hassing

One interesting aspect at the convention in Redwood Falls is the selection of a national vice commander from the region. It is Minnesota’s turn to nominate a national vice commander, and this convention determines the nominee.

The Department Executive Committee meeting is at 7 p.m. July 12. Some committee meetings take place on July 12, too.

Mugshot of Dean Knutson
Dean Knutson

Attendees must make their own housing reservations with their hotel of choice. All delegates, alternates and guests must pay the $15 registration fee. Use the form below. After July 1, the fee becomes $18.

Hotel rooms are $120 plus tax per night. Use block “American Legion State Convention.” Reservations are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel can be reached at 507-697-8000 or 800-946-2274. It is at 39375 County Highway 24, Morton.

Mugshot of Christopher Anderson
Christopher Anderson

“The convention is a time to conduct the business of The American Legion,” said Department Commander Jennifer Havlick. “Thank you for taking three days out of your busy lives to come to Redwood Falls. We hope to see new faces and familiar ones, too.”

How to register

Mugshot of Michael Ash
Michael Ash

You can register for the convention following the instructions below in the box, or you can visit and hover over “Events,” then click on “Dept Convention.”

There, the department, by working with Post 38, is able to take registrations online using Eventbrite, an event planning and marketing tool.

This is the first time for the Department of Minnesota using Eventbrite, and it might just become the way registration for all department rallies, conferences and conventions are handled.

Mugshot of Jim Kellogg
Jim Kellogg

Look for it to expand in use in the future as department leaders seek ways to get young veterans to participate in statewide activities.

Candidates for office

Elections of officers take place at the convention, and a new slate of department officers will be announced on the final day of the convention.

Bill Barbknecht mugshot
Bill Barbknecht

Here are the announced candidates for department officers and their home posts:

• Paul Hassing, Bloomington Post 550

Vice Commander (vote for five)
• Victor Gades, Prairie Post 1998
• Paul Edwards, Nisswa Post 627
• Chuck Stone, Owatonna Post 77

Mugshot of Peggy Moon
Peggy Moon

• Bill Gordon, St. Michael Post 567
• Lynne Nottage, Minneapolis Post 1.

• Joe Tappainer, Apple Valley Post 1776
• Dean Knutson, Ashby Post 357
• Randy Olson, Winnebago Post 82


Mugshot of Brad Pagel
Brad Pagel

• Christopher Anderson, Hastings Post 47

• Brad Pagel, Slayton Post 64

Board of Publications
• Paul Edwards, Nisswa Post 627

Here are the announced candidates for national officers from Minnesota and their home posts:

Mugshot of Victor Gades
Victor Gades

• Bill Barbknecht, Underwood Post 489

Alternate NECman
• Peggy Moon, Zimmerman Post 560

Mugshot of Lynne Nottage
Lynne Nottage

National Vice Commander (vote for one)
• Michael Ash, St. Paul Christie-DeParcq Post 406
• James Kellogg, Adams Post 146

Voting takes place on the Friday evening and Saturday morning of the convention. A sample ballot is printed on the right.

Candidates for department offices announce their candidacies in the form of endorsements printed in The Minnesota Legionnaire.

Mugshot of Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards

This way, the entire Minnesota American Legion membership can be aware of candidacies.

The deadline for appearing on the ballot was the press date of this publication, June 22. However, nominations still can come at the convention.

Some might wonder how Paul Edwards could be on the ballot for department vice commander and Board of Publications. The Board of Publications oversees The Minnesota Legionnaire, and it is a separate nonprofit entity from the department itself.

Mugshot of Bill Gordon
Bill Gordon

The convention call and the convention rules were printed in the June issue of The Minnesota Legionnaire.

Proposed convention resolutions are printed on Page 10. Convention reports were printed as a PDF online to save printing costs.

Click here to find the annual committee reports at

Mugshot of Chuck Stone
Chuck Stone

“We hope to see Legionnaires in great numbers,” Havlick said. “We have a great time sharing our camaraderie each year.”