Longtime attorney, former mayoral candidate passes away in Jackson hospital

August 31, 2018 11:06:13 AM

Alex Holloway - [email protected]


Johnny Moore, a prominent Starkville attorney and former mayoral candidate, passed away Thursday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  


Welch Funeral Home confirmed Moore's passing Thursday evening. Immediate details of his passing are unavailable. Moore was 58.  


Sources told The Dispatch last week that Moore was hospitalized in Jackson due to a brain bleed.  


Welch Funeral Home will handle Moore's funeral arrangements. However, no arrangements have yet been made as of Friday morning. 


Moore was born in Columbus in 1960 and was a lifelong resident of Starkville. He graduated from Starkville Academy in 1978, earned a bachelor's degree in professional accounting from Mississippi State in 1982 and a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1984. Moore joined his late father and former State Sen. John Paul Moore at his firm, the Moore Law Office, where he was still practicing at the time of his death.  


Moore recently gained political prominence in Starkville through a hotly-contested mayoral race against current Mayor Lynn Spruill. Spruill edged Moore by six votes in a May 2017 Democratic primary election.  


Moore challenged the election, which led to a year-long court battle that concluded in late July when Special Judge Barry Ford named Spruill the winner, narrowing her victory to a five-vote margin in the process. Moore had not filed an appeal against the decision, according to Oktibbeha County Circuit Court officials. He had until Sept. 17 to challenge the ruling.  


In his practice, Moore has worked on a tremendous number of cases, including many property cases. Notably, he has recently represented a Tuscaloosa, Alabama developer who has been seeking to purchase land on Highway 182 to swap with the Pecan Acres public housing on Highway 12. The swap would, if it moves forward, make way for a new development on Highway 12 which has been mentioned to include a hotel, restaurants and entertainment venue such as a bowling alley.  


He's also recently represented the owner of the former Health Department building on Lynn Lane, which county supervisors recently bid $1.7 million to swap for the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District. The county will swap the building for several school campuses, so the district can use the former health department building for administrative offices. 


The late attorney represented a development group that built a Walmart Neighborhood Market of Highway 12 North in 2017. 


Moore coached Little League Baseball and served on the Little League Baseball Association's and Starkville Academy's boards of directors, including as a past president and chairman for a school capital campaign.