The men and women in the Gulfport Business Club had no idea that while they were listening to a presentation about the University of Southern Mississippi, Mike Moore was saying goodbye to politics. Steve Dickerson was stunned by the news.
"That's pretty interesting, isn't it," he said. "I can't imagine Mike out of politics. He's been there so long and done a good job for us."
Gulfport advertising executive Ted Riemann was also at the luncheon. He also seemed surprised by the Attorney General's political decision.
"That's bad for the state of Mississippi in my opinion," Riemann said. "He has been a good public servant. And we're going to miss him. He has been a great Attorney General."
Jimmy Johnson works for Moore in the Partnership For A Healthy Mississippi program.
"I'm shocked and I'm surprised," said Johnson. "If his decision is he's going to get out of politics completely, I hate to see that. He's the strongest thing to ever happen to Mississippi, probably the best thing to ever happen to Mississippi."
Gulfport police chief Wayne Payne said that during Moore's tenure, the Attorney General formed strong partnerships with area law enforcement agencies.
"We certainly lost a good person up there," said Payne. "He always looked out for the coast while he was up there and looked out for Mississippi in general."
When he made his announcement, the four term Attorney General didn't have any challengers lining up to run against him. Now that Moore says he's out of politics, the race for Attorney General is wide open.
"In my business though," said Riemann, "people like me are happy because now two people are running. Money to be made. But no, for Mississippi, sad day I think."