Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey pledged to uphold and enforce laws as a “constitutional conservative” with an “unyielding pursuit of victory.”

Bailey, 41, was sworn in as Missouri’s 44th attorney general Tuesday in front of a packed audience at the state Supreme Court building. Judge Kelly Broniec of the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals administered the oath, in which Bailey pledged to uphold the U.S. and Missouri constitutions as the state’s chief legal officer.

Bailey said his experiences as a combat veteran and prosecuting attorney will guide who he is in the role. He recalled leading his platoon through a car bomb ambush during one of his two tours in Iraq.

“These lessons I learned on the streets of industrial Iraq taught me who I am, how to accomplish a mission at hand and how to take care of people,” he said.

“I will lead this office with the same steady hand and unyielding pursuit of victory,” he continued, “because we will defend our Constitution and represent the people of this state.”

Gov. Mike Parson announced Bailey’s appointment Nov. 23, 2022. Bailey, a Republican, most recently served as the governor’s general counsel and will finish the remaining two years of Eric Schmitt’s term…Bailey said he plans to run for the office in 2024.

Parson said he received a commitment from Bailey that he would run exclusively for attorney general next election year. The past two men to serve in the role, Schmitt and Sen. Josh Hawley, mounted successful U.S. Senate runs that prevented them from completing their terms as attorney general.

“I really want some stability in the Attorney General’s Office, and I think Andrew’s going to bring that,” Parson said…

Bailey described himself as a “constitutional conservative,” adding “the history of the words written down informs the proper understanding of the definition of those words.”

The former Warren County prosecutor said the U.S. Constitution represents a national identity formed on the legal agreement that everyone is created equally and rights come from God. He said the legal system is designed to protect those rights, even when it’s inconvenient.

The Missouri Constitution comes from the will of the people and the government it creates is “instituted for the good of the people,” Bailey said.