Democrat Miller drops out of LG race after rival joins contest

Bryan Miller

Combined ShapeCaption
Bryan Miller

The grandson of former Gov. Zell Miller dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor on Friday, days after Democratic powerbrokers encouraged another candidate to join the crowded contest.

Bryan Miller told supporters he was quitting the race but didn’t immediately disclose his plans for the future. He entered the contest in July seeking to follow in the footsteps of his legendary grandfather with a promise to strengthen the HOPE scholarship program.

“In recent days, it has become clear that the amount of money needed to win the primary is no longer within our reach,” he wrote donors. “Therefore I cannot in good conscience continue to ask our supporters to give their time, talents, and financial resources for a race that is not winnable.”

Miller’s decision comes as top state Democrats try to clear the field in crowded primary races. On Sunday, ex-prosecutor Charlie Bailey switched from the race for attorney general to the contest for lieutenant governor at the urging of influential supporters who hope to make him the front-runner.

“This campaign will not be our last. Our cause is too important. We live in unprecedented times,” Miller wrote. “As candidates, we often forget campaigns do not determine who we are, they reveal who we are. As voters, we should hold our elected officials and candidates to the highest ethical and moral standards. Our future depends on it.”

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, isn’t seeking a second term. State Sen. Burt Jones is squaring off against Senate GOP leader Butch Miller for the Republican nomination. Party activist Jeanne Seaver is in the race as well.

Aside from Bailey, the Democratic contenders include state Rep. Erick Allen of Smyrna; state Rep. Derrick Jackson of Tyrone; and state Rep. Renitta Shannon of Decatur.