STARKVILLE – The Democratic Primary for Starkville’s highest office saw one candidate knocked from contention as attorney Johnny Moore and local property owner Lynn Spruill garnered enough votes to advance to a runoff.
The unofficial results show Moore, 56, pulled in 45 percent of the vote, while Spruill, 64, finished atop the three-candidate race with 47 percent, or 1682 total votes. Political newcomer Damion Poe, 26, finished with 7.7 percent.
Spruill said she is grateful the voters turned out and supported her during the primary and hopes to galvanize voters again in two weeks for the runoff.
“I am looking forward to the next two weeks,” she said. “I’m the candidate that’s going to lead us into the future,” Spruill said. “I look forward going into the future with the next Board of Alderman. I am just very excited we got the number of votes we did and hope the community will come out for the runoff election.”
Poe said following the loss that he throughly enjoyed the campaign and viewed it as a learning experience.
“I am so very much appreciative of the amount of support that the community has offered and I challenge all of the young adults who got involved with my campaign to stay involved,” Poe said. “This is definitely not the end for me.”
Poe then said he would support primary frontrunner Lynn Spruill in the upcoming runoff.
Spruill expressed her gratitude to Poe for the endorsement and said she will work to show her sincerity in carrying on the projects that were important to Poe and his supporters.
“I’m very excited to say Damion Poe has endorsed me, so I hope his voters will feel comfortable with me as someone who will carry on some of the things he thought were important, such as the Art’s District,” Spruill said.
The votes will be confirmed tomorrow morning by election commissioners, which could take up to five days depending on affidavit ballots.
Spruill said she will put boots to the ground in an effort to convince undecided voters to choose her in the upcoming runoff.
In total, 3,361 votes were cast for mayor in the Democratic Primary.
Moore said going into the runoff that he will continue to work hard to make sure citizens get more from the city.
“We are going to work for the next two weeks to make sure we get the voters out and win the election,” Moore told the SDN Tuesday night. “We are going to continue to do the same things, but just work harder.”
A victory for either Moore or Spruill in the upcoming runoff means the historic trend of Democratic leadership in the mayor’s office will continue into the next term. The city of Starkville has never had a Republican mayor in its history and no Republicans qualified to run in the 2017 mayoral race.
The runoff is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16.