© 2023 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Andrew Bailey, general counsel for the governor, named Missouri attorney general

Missouri's new Attorney General Andrew Bailey speaks at a podium next to Gov. Mike Parson on November 23, 2022
Sarah Kellogg
St. Louis Public Radio
At the announcement Wednesday of his appointment at the Capitol, Andrew Bailey is flanked by his family and Gov. Mike Parson.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has chosen Andrew Bailey, general counsel for the governor’s office, to serve as the state’s next attorney general.

The announcement on Wednesday at the Capitol in Jefferson City follows Attorney General Eric Schmitt's election to the U.S. Senate this month to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. Bailey will serve the remaining two years of Schmitt’s term as attorney general and said he will run for a full term in 2024.

Bailey said he has dedicated his work and studies to constitutional law and criminal prosecution.

“I'm going to bring my leadership, my legal experience, my fighting spirit, and all of the intellectual firepower I have to bear on this mission. And I will deliver victories for the people of this state,” Bailey said.

Parson said Bailey met his core requirements for the job.

“Commitment to law and order, patriotism and respect for the constitution, conservative values, family values, and someone who would promote calm and steadiness while never afraid to fight for Missourians,” Parson said.

Parson credited Bailey in aiding his administration with ending almost all legal abortions in the state, strengthening gun rights protections and safeguarding local control on mask and vaccine mandates during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bailey, 41, has been general counsel for the governor’s office since March 2021. Prior to that, he served stints 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.

The last time Parson appointed an attorney general was in 2018, when he named Schmitt to the position. Schmitt replaced Josh Hawley, who had just won his own bid for the U.S. Senate.

“Few Missouri governors have had the opportunity and responsibility to appoint an attorney general on behalf of the people of Missouri once, let alone twice,” Parson said.

Bailey will be the third attorney general Missouri has had since 2018.

“One of the things I really looked at [with] the candidates was making sure they were going to stay in that position for a number of years to bring stability to that,” Parson said.

Bailey said running for the position in two years would help meet Parson’s goal.

“The office needs stability, and so I intend to provide precisely that,” Bailey said.

As to whether he will continue the work on lawsuits initiated by Schmitt, many of which have been contentious, such as those trying to overturn President Joe Biden's election, Bailey said he intends to continue to push back against federal overreach but could not commit to particular lawsuits yet.

“It's gonna take time to look at every case that the office has in front of it, all the personnel that the office has, and where those needs are and how those cases are moving,” Bailey said.

In a statement released after the announcement of Bailey’s appointment, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, called for him to “dismiss every one of Schmitt’s frivolous lawsuits that hasn’t already been laughed out of court.”

Parson also must appoint a new treasurer before the year is over as Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick won his race Nov. 8 to become state auditor.

Sarah Kellogg has been the Missouri Statehouse and politics reporter for St. Louis Public Radio since 2021.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.