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Andrew Bailey becomes Missouri attorney general, touts protecting the Constitution

Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri Attorney General, is sworn in by Judge Kelly Broniec, of the Missouri Court of Appeals’ Eastern District. Bailey holds his right hand up while his left hand is on a bible.  His wife, holding one of their children is on his right.
Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri attorney general, is sworn in on Tuesday by Judge Kelly Broniec in Jefferson City. Bailey's wife, Jessica, stands alongside him while holding a Bible and their 6-month-old child.

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.

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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri attorney general, reacts as Gov. Mike Parson speaks about him on Tuesday in Jefferson City.

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:

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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri attorney general, is welcomed by state officials and supporters on Tuesday during his inauguration at the Missouri Supreme Court in Jefferson City.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Andrew Bailey, Missouri's new attorney general, reacts as Gov. Mike Parson speaks about him alongside his wife, Jessica, far left, and two sons on Tuesday during Bailey’s inauguration at the Missouri Supreme Court in Jefferson City.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Gov. Mike Parson speaks about Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri attorney general, on Tuesday during his swearing-in ceremony in Jefferson City.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Attorney General Andrew Bailey speaks after being sworn in on Tuesday in Jefferson City.
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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Bailey waves to hundreds after being sworn in on Tuesday in Jefferson City.
Andrew Bailey, newly appointed Missouri Attorney General, speaks to the media
Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey speaks to the media on Tuesday after being sworn in at the state Supreme Court in Jefferson City.

Sarah Kellogg is the Missouri Statehouse reporter for St. Louis Public Radio

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