R. Wendell Bailey (born July 30, 1940) is an American politician from Missouri. He graduated from Southwest Missouri State University with a degree in Business Administration and owned an automobile dealership in Willow Springs.
After serving as mayor of his native Willow Springs, Bailey was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1972 and re-elected in 1974, 1976, and 1978. In 1980, Bailey was elected to the United States House of Representatives, but after the 1980 census Missouri lost one congressional district, and Bailey's district was eliminated. Rather than retire, in 1982 Bailey ran against Congressman Ike Skelton, and—although he was defeated—Bailey ran reasonably well considering that most of the new district had previously been represented by Skelton. In 1984 Bailey made a comeback and was elected Missouri State Treasurer; he was narrowly re-elected to this office in 1988 over future Missouri Governor Bob Holden. In 1992 Bailey made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of Missouri, finishing third in the Republican primary behind then-Attorney General William L. Webster (who won the nomination) and then-Secretary of State Roy Blunt. Bailey cast himself as the only pro-choice candidate in the 1992 GOP governor's primary, whereas Webster and Blunt were both clearly pro-life.
Bailey narrowly lost the Republican primary for a seat in the Missouri Senate in 1996, but in 2000 Bailey captured the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor, although he was defeated by Democrat Joe Maxwell in the general election. In January 2006, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Bailey was working for the Small Business Administration in Kansas City, Missouri.