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Monday, December 5, 2022

After losing his appeal, Nicholas Kristof will not be able to run for Governor of Oregon

In a ruling issued on Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court found that former New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, who left the newspaper to run for governor of the state, did not qualified to be on the state’s ballot this year.

The Supreme Court ruled that, despite Mr. Kristof’s extensive ties to the state, which include a farm outside of Portland that he owns and operates, elections officials were within their rights to determine that he did not meet the state’s three-year residency requirement, finding that he had maintained his New York connections until December 2020.

Mr. Kristof, who had argued that he always considered Oregon to be his home, despite the fact that his career had taken him all over the world, said in a statement that he was disappointed by the ruling, but that he intended to continue fighting to address problems in the state during what he described as “a time of crisis” there.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof had amassed significantly more campaign money than his fellow Democrats, thanks in part to his extensive network of contacts, which enabled him to secure contributions from prominent donors such as the philanthropist Melinda French Gates and the actress Angelina Jolie. Tina Kotek, the former speaker of the Oregon State House, and Tobias Read, the state treasurer, are among the Democrats competing to be the next governor to follow Kate Brown.

“He has long written about significant problems confronting Oregonians,” Ms. Kotek said in a statement, adding that “his voice will continue to be crucial as we tackle Oregon’s most urgent concerns.”

Since 1987, Democrats have occupied the governor’s office in the state of California. Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, is running as an independent candidate against incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott.

Mr. Kristof had condemned Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s judgement last month that he did not fit the residence criteria as a political move that protected the establishment, and he had continued to portray himself as a political outsider in the process. He and state officials then moved quickly to file an appeal in order to acquire a definitive ruling before ballots for the May primary were printed on the state’s computers.

Mr. Kristof’s family moved to a sheep and cherry farm in Yamhill, Ore., when he was a child, and he emphasised his ties to the community as part of a campaign message that focused on issues such as improving employment opportunities, combating drug addiction, and reforming the state’s criminal justice system.

Mr. Kristof resigned from The New York Times in October after filing paperwork to form a political campaign committee. With the newspaper, he was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes: one for reporting on the Tiananmen Square uprisings in China and another for reporting on genocide in Darfur, Sudan, both while working for the daily.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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