News Briefs

Andrew Bailey begins fundraising for Missouri AG campaign with help from lobbyist

By: - December 12, 2022 11:08 am

Andrew Bailey was announced as Gov. Mike Parson’s choice to be Missouri attorney general on Nov. 23, 2022 (photo courtesy of Missouri Governor’s Office).

Andrew Bailey has yet to form a political action committee.

So when supporters of the man Gov. Mike Parson tapped to become Missouri’s next attorney general gather Wednesday to raise money for his 2024 campaign, they’ll be writing checks to one of a constellation of PACs affiliated with lobbyist Steve Tilley.

Tilley, a former lawmaker and longtime friend and adviser to Parson, is hosting a fundraiser for Bailey at a hangar his lobbying firm co-owns at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield.  Because the donations will go to one of seven PACs connected to Tilley, they are not subject to contribution limits that candidates must abide by.

The PAC in question, called Liberty and Justice PAC, was formed Nov. 14. 

Bailey, 41, has never run for public office. He most recently served as Parson’s general counsel, and before that worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Warren County and as an assistant attorney general. 

When he was appointed last month to replace Eric Schmitt — who must resign as attorney general after being elected to the U.S. Senate — Bailey vowed to run for a full term in 2024

Tilley has been a controversial figure in Missouri politics for years, dating back to his time in House leadership more than a decade ago when the FBI questioned lawmakers about his efforts to stall a bill impacting how cities charged sales taxes. More recently, Tilley has faced FBI scrutiny over how the state doled out medical marijuana licenses and regarding a pair of utility contracts in Independence

But he has also become a major fundraiser for GOP candidates, most notably Parson. At one point during the 2020 campaign, for example, a quarter of every dollar raised by the PAC supporting Parson was connected to Tilley. 

With Parson facing term limits, Tilley is helping Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft raise money for a possible gubernatorial bid in 2024. 

Despite the fundraising help from Tilley, Bailey is unlikely to clear out the 2024 GOP primary for attorney general.

Will Scharf, a former assistant U.S. attorney and a key player in Gov. Eric Greitens’ brief state administration, announced last month he would begin raising money for an as-of-yet-undetermined statewide campaign in 2024. 

Most assume Scharf has his eye on the attorney general’s race, as his name was floated as a possible replacement for Schmitt

Former U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison is also considered a possible candidate for attorney general, as is state Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer. 

Garrison has yet to form a political action committee, but Luetkemeyer reported $870,000 in his PAC and another $300,000 in a PAC set up to support his candidacy. 

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has spent two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, with most of that time focused on the Missouri statehouse as a reporter for The Kansas City Star. A three-time National Headliner Award winner, he helped launch The Missouri Independent in October 2020.