Zell Bryan Miller (born February 24, 1932) is a politician from Georgia. He was lieutenant governor of Georgia from 1975 to 1991, governor from 1991 to 1999 and United States senator since 2000. His successor as governor, Roy Barnes, appointed him to the senate seat following the death of the Republican senator Paul Coverdell in July 2000. Zell won a special election in November 2000. Since Coverdell won his last election in 1998, Zell has a four-year term and would face election in 2004.
Though Miller is a Democrat, which in his lifetime has definitely become the more liberal party in America as opposed to the Republicans, he is widely known as a conservative populist. Though he saw the Democratic party's complete control of Georgia fall apart during his time as lieutenant governor and governor, he has always remained popular and won his elections easily, showing his ability to please most members of both parties in Georgia. On the other hand, he has always refused Republican offers to join their party, remaining loyal to the Democrats. During 2001 and 2002, when liberal Republican senators from New England such as James Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee threatened to, and, in Jefford's case, did, leave the Republican party, rumors abounded that Miller would become a Republican and give control of the senate back to that party. These rumors, were, however, always denied. In 2003, he announced his retirement from politics, saying that he would finish his term in the Senate but not seek reelection. He also announced that he would be supporting George W. Bush in the presidential election rather than any of the nine candidates currently competing for the nomination of his own party, though he again denied that he would officially become a Republican.