TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Gov.-elect Lawton Chiles, rushing back to the capital for a news conference Wednesday, got a speeding ticket in Georgia for driving 80 mph in a 50 mph zone, authorities said.

Chiles, driving alone in a red sedan, was pulled over by two Bainbridge police officers and issued a $70 ticket, said Police Chief Larry Funderburke.

Funderburke said Chiles can avoid a Feb. 4 court date by paying the ticket by mail.

An apologetic Chiles said that's exactly what he intends to do.

''I just didn't realize how fast I was going. I was thinking about getting back,'' he said.

Chiles said he was in Georgia hunting quail north of Bainbridge with U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, a longtime friend. He was returning for a news conference to announce his choice for secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment Security, Frank Scruggs.

Chiles said the officers didn't recognize him or know his name. He said he was given a breathalyzer test that showed he had zero blood-alcohol content.