JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Gov. Mike Parson's newly appointed attorney general is a familiar face in the governor's office.
Parson named Andrew Bailey, the general counsel for the governor's office, as the next Missouri Attorney General in a news conference Wednesday. Parson stressed the political nature of the job, emphasizing Bailey's conservative credentials and saying he was critical in the state's fight against vaccine and mask mandates during COVID-19.
"He is a proven conservative, talented attorney, former prosecutor, a United States Army veteran, a family man and a father of four, a man of faith and a proud Missourian,” Parson said in naming Bailey at the news conference outside the governor's office.
Parson said "Missourians are in good hands" with Bailey as the new attorney general.
Bailey is replacing current Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who will be sworn in as a U.S. senator after winning the election earlier this month.
Parson also touted Bailey's work in banning abortion in Missouri and keeping gun laws less restrictive.
Bailey said "it has been an honor" to work on such issues and for Parson during a pivotal time in Missouri's history.
Bailey was named general counsel for the governor's office in March 2021. Before that, he was an assistant prosecutor in Warren County and an assistant attorney general. He was deployed to Iraq twice during his stint in the army.
He is a foster parent who was motivated by the hardships he saw children suffering while he worked as a prosecutor.
Bailey touted the state's success in outlawing abortion, keeping COVID-19 mandates out of Missouri and fighting federal government overreach. Parson said he has been integral in "preventing the heavy hand of the federal government from infringing on our freedoms."
Parson has now appointed two attorneys general. Schmitt was also appointed after Josh Hawley was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Parson said he picked Bailey in part to give the office stability -- Bailey plans to run for attorney general in 2024.
The state's top Democrat, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield), said Bailey should end the politically motivated lawsuits filed by Schmitt.
“Upon taking over in January, Attorney General-designee Andrew Bailey must immediately move to dismiss every one of Schmitt’s frivolous lawsuits that hasn’t already been laughed out of court," Quade said in a written statement. "This is an essential step to restoring the integrity of the office and demonstrating that, for the first time in years, Missouri has an attorney general who will put the legal interests of all Missourians ahead of the political ambitions of one. We are hopeful Mr. Bailey can succeed in the immense task that awaits him.”