Bryan Miller, Grandson of Late Governor Zell Miller, Running for Lt. Gov.

Cindy Morley

Friday, October 29th, 2021

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(Editor’s note: This is one of a series of articles in the months to come on Democrat and Republican candidates for office.)

As the 2022 election season gets closer, the list of candidates for Georgia’s lieutenant governor continues to grow. One of the candidates seeking the state’s number two spot is a familiar name among Democrats. Bryan Miller, the grandson of the late Gov. Zell Miller, says he is seeking to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, and is running on a platform that includes restoring full funding of the HOPE Scholarship program that his grandfather started.

Miller, of Watkinsville, is one of three announced candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed Republican Geoff Duncan as lieutenant governor. Duncan is not seeking reelection. The other Democrats in the race are State Representative Derrick Jackson of Tyrone and State Representative Erick Allen of Smyrna. There are three Republicans already in the race to win the state’s No. 2 seat — State Senator Burt Jones (R-Jackson), Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller (R-Gainesville), and GOP activist Jeanne Seaver of Savannah.

“I am running to restore the HOPE Scholarship back to its original promise of providing full tuition to any student who earns a B average or higher,” Miller says on his webpage. “Since my grandfather created it, nearly 2 million Georgians have gone to college on HOPE. Unfortunately, too few poor and minority students have been able to enjoy the full benefits of HOPE as intended. I want to fix that.”

Miller recently stepped down as executive chairman of the Zell Miller Foundation, a public charity he started in 2016 to build on his grandfather’s legacy with a focus on education, leadership, and public service. He states that since 2020 alone, the foundation has helped 127 HOPE Scholars attend college tuition free. Of those, 62 percent were Black, 11 percent were Asian, and 10 percent were Hispanic. He goes on to point out on his website that 75 percent had household incomes below the median average in Georgia and 42 percent were the first in their families to attend college.

He also established the foundation’s Leadership Institute, which brings together Democrats and Republicans from across Georgia to discuss critical issues affecting the state.

Miller grew up in Young Harris and graduated from Towns County High School. He holds a J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and a B.S. in Business and Public Policy from Young Harris College.

He enters the race as a political newcomer with no elected experience, although he did serve as the campaign manager for Republican Doug Collins during his winning 2012 campaign for a U.S. House seat. He calls himself a “Joe Biden Democrat” who is more socially liberal than his grandfather, and his platform embraces many of the president’s issues, including expanding Medicaid.