Zell Miller's grandson launches bid for Georgia lieutenant governor

Zell Miller's grandson launches bid for Georgia lieutenant governor
© Brian Miller Campaign

The grandson of the late Georgia political heavyweight Zell Miller is jumping into the state’s race for lieutenant governor.

Bryan Miller, a Democrat who runs a nonprofit named for his grandfather, is a political newcomer with no prior experience running for elected office. In an announcement of his campaign on Thursday, Miller homed in on a promise to restore the HOPE Scholarship, a lottery-funded scholarship program that was championed by his grandfather during his tenure as Georgia governor.

“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 said in a statement. “Since my grandfather created it, nearly 2 million Georgians have gone to college on HOPE.” 

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“Unfortunately, too few poor and minority students have been able to enjoy the full benefits of HOPE as intended,” he continued. “I want to fix that.”

Miller stepped down from his post as executive chairman of the Zell Miller Foundation earlier this year as he weighed a run for office.

He joins a handful of other Democrats vying to replace Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican who announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection in 2022. 

Duncan broke with former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MORE over his unsupported claims of a stolen presidential election, and has since committed himself to “healing and rebuilding a Republican Party that is damaged but not destroyed.”

So far, only two Republicans have entered the race to succeed Duncan, including state Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller, who is seen as the early front-runner in the contest. 

But he may soon get another challenger in the form of state Sen. Burt Jones, a steadfast Trump ally who repeatedly backed the former president’s calls to overturn his 2020 electoral loss.