ATLANTA, AUG. 7 -- Lt. Gov. Zell Miller tonight ended a historic bid by Andrew Young, civil rights leader and two-term mayor of Atlanta, to become the state's first black governor, defeating Young in a landslide Democratic runoff vote.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Miller was leading Young 63 to 37 percent.
Young conceded about 10:30 p.m. and wished Miller well. "I don't really get disappointed unless I don't do my best. I did my best," Young said. "I see the Democratic Party being led by my former opponent but my friend, Zell Miller."
Miller faces Republican Johnny Isakson in November. Gov. Joe Frank Harris (D) could not seek a third consecutive term.
Miller, 58, has been waiting in the wings for 16 years. He outmaneuvered Young in the campaign and went into the party runoff ahead by 20 points, according to an Atlanta Constitution poll Friday.
Young, also 58, a former Congregationalist preacher, seemed almost serene as he comforted campaign workers. On Sunday, he had visited black churches and told supporters his fate was in the hands of the Lord.
Starting his campaign on the Florida border town where he lived three decades ago, Young tried to duplicate the upset victory of Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder (D), who became the nation's first elected black governor last November.
But Young faced almost insurmountable odds that went far beyond racial politics. His campaign failed to change many minds among conservative white voters, and his black support was not as strong as it should have been in a statewide campaign. He faced a popular, well-financed opponent who touched a chord with Georgia voters by championing a state lottery.
In the primary election last month, Miller pulled 20 percent of the black vote in Atlanta, Young's political base. Many blacks said that although they were loath to vote against a black candidate, they felt Young had ignored them during the campaign to court the rural white vote. Young was also critized for his failure to solve social problems -- such as a drug crisis and homelessness -- that plagued inner city blacks during his administration.
During his campaign, Young was not able to establish a theme that set him apart from Miller. The two agreed, except for fine points, on almost every issue.
But the lottery was the surprise. Black voters as well as voter flocked to Miller's camp.
Young promised to bring the same kind of prosperity to rural Georgia that Atlanta enjoyed during his eight years in office. But discussions of export markets and economic development apparently are not the kinds of issues that inspire voters. They also do not distinguish a candidate from his opponents, because everyone is for jobs and economic growth.
Young fared better in a television debate Sunday night than he did in one last week. But by then it was too late to recover much ground.
Miller made few mistakes. He amassed a war chest of $2 million, twice what Young raised. A more telling statistic can be found in what Miller did with his money. He spent it money on television. There, Young's strategists estimate, he outspent Young 5 to 1.