Andrew Bailey becomes Missouri attorney general, touts protecting the Constitution
For the third time since 2018, Missouri has a new attorney general.
Andrew Bailey, former general counsel for Gov. Mike Parson’s office, was sworn in Tuesday. He is the 44th person to serve as the state’s attorney general.
Speaking after his swearing-in ceremony, Bailey mentioned both his work as an attorney and as an Army veteran as experiences showing his devotion to defending the Constitution.
“I have proven a willingness to put my life on the line to do so. And that is a dedication, I will never abandon because our law, our freedoms are worth fighting for,” Bailey said.
Bailey, 41, has been general counsel for the governor’s office since March 2021. Prior to that, he served as deputy general counsel for the office and general counsel for the Missouri Department of Corrections.
He served in the Army after graduating from the University of Missouri. After finishing his service, he went to the University of Missouri School of Law.
Bailey will finish out the term of Eric Schmitt, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November. Schmitt was appointed by Parson in 2018 to replace Josh Hawley, who also won election to the Senate.
During his tenure, Parson has appointed a record-breaking five statewide positions: two attorneys general, two treasurers and a lieutenant governor.
Parson said he trusted Bailey to make the right decisions for the state.
“I had the personal privilege of working with Andrew for going through some of the toughest times in our state, understanding what he is not only as a general counsel, not only as a legal mind, but who he is as an individual. And those things are important to me,” Parson said.
The governor also restated his priority of choosing someone who is committed to staying in the position and would run for reelection. Bailey has said he intends to run for the job in 2024.
“I really want some stability in the attorney general's office. I think Andrew is going to bring that,” Parson said.
Regarding his legal beliefs, Bailey says he’s a constitutional conservative.
“The Constitution should motivate us to protect those freedoms, because we can learn from that history,” Bailey said. “If we refuse to so acknowledge that history and the timeless principles codified in the Constitution, we risk losing the freedoms intended and the freedoms that we today enjoy.”
In addition to serving the remainder of Schmitt’s term, Bailey also inherits multiple ongoing lawsuits filed by Schmitt. Bailey said he intends on looking at every lawsuit already filed and to continue pushing back against the administration of President Joe Biden.
“We've reviewed some of the cases and we have a lot of work to do to continue to conduct that review, and we'll look for more opportunities for wins,” Bailey said.
Swearing-in ceremonies for Missouri’s new auditor, Scott Fitzpatrick, and Treasurer Vivek Malek will happen later this month.
Moments from Andrew Bailey's swearing-in ceremony by staff photojournalist Brian Munoz: