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Former U.S. Senator Zell Miller endorses Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia Senate race

Miller, a popular two-term Democratic governor known for endorsing Republicans, cuts TV ad for Nunn

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

georgia mugATLANTA (CFP) — Former U.S. Senator Zell Miller has made a high-profile endorsement of fellow Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia’s hotly contested U.S. Senate race, a major boost to Nunn’s efforts to position herself as a moderate distant from national Democrats.

Former U.S. Senator Zell Miller

Former U.S. Senator Zell Miller

Miller, a Democrat who angered many in his party with his 2004 endorsement of President George W. Bush, has cut a television ad for Nunn that touts her as “a bridge builder, not a bridge burner.”

“I’m so angry about what’s going on in Washington — partisanship over patriotism. They can’t stop themselves, but we can stop them. Let’s send Michelle Nunn to the Senate,” Miller says in the ad. “Michelle Nunn gives this old Georgian hope.”

Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, is running against Republican David Perdue, the cousin of former Republican Governor Sonny Perdue. Neither candidate has run for office before.

The Perdue camp has not directly responded to Miller’s endorsement.

Miller, 82, is a venerable — if unpredictable — figure in Georgia politics, serving four terms as lieutenant governor and two terms as governor before being appointed to the Senate in 2000 to replace the late Republican Paul

In 2004, while still sitting as a Democrat in the Senate, he not only endorsed Bush but gave the keynote address at the Republican National Convention, where he offered a withering critique of the Democratic nominee, John Kerry. Miler did not seek re-election that year, but he rejected suggestions that he switch parties, opting to remain a Democrat.

In addition to Bush, Miller endorsed the Republican replaced him in the Senate, Johnny Isakson, and the state’s other Republican senator, Saxby Chambliss, whose retirement is opening up the seat Nunn is seeking. He was also co-chair of Newt Gingrich’s unsuccessful campaign for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.

Recent polls have shown a close race, with Perdue slightly in the lead.

Perdue and outside conservative groups have been trying to tie Nunn to President Obama. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is in the middle of a $2.5 million ad buy calling Nunn “Obama’s senator.”

Unlike Democratic incumbents in the South who voted for Obamacare, Nunn does not have that vote to defend. But she has come under fire for evading a clear answer when asked whether she supports the president’s health care law.

View Zell Miller’s ad endorsing Michelle Nunn:

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