Ex-New York Times Columnist Kristof Vows Appeal to Run for Gov in Oregon

After Oregon disqualified a former columnist for The New York Times from running for governor in 2022 for failing to meet the three-year residency requirement, Nicholas Kristof has vowed to appeal in state court and will continue campaigning.

“Because I’ve always known Oregon to be my home, the law says that I am qualified to run for governor,” Kristof, a Democrat, told reporters at a Thursday news conference, Politico reported, pointing to his family’s roots in Oregon.

Kristof, 62, left the Times in mid-October and announced his intention to run for governor against term-limited Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, two weeks later. He was prepared for this legal challenge to his candidacy as attorneys argued last year that he has kept a residence in Oregon, and “considered Oregon to be his home at all times.”

“While this case has clearly garnered significant public interest, in the end, our elections officials told me it wasn’t even a close call,” Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, told reporters in a Thursday press conference, according to Politico.

“And while there have been creative legal arguments and an impressive PR campaign, given the evidence, I venture that most Oregonians who are paying attention have reached the same conclusion,” she said.

Kristof voted in New York state in the 2020 elections, according to Politico.

Fagan argued that a New York state driver’s license and raising his children in New York undermine his claim to Oregon residency, saying it “just doesn’t pass the smell test.” The Oregon Constitution requires three years of residency in the state before a gubernatorial campaign.

The “political establishment” challenge to his candidacy is a “political decision and not one based on the law,” according to Kristof, who has outpaced opponents with $2.5 million raised for the campaign, Politico reported.

The field to be the next governor of Oregon includes state House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read, both Democrats. Kotek announced her resignation from the state Legislature effective later this month to focus on her campaign.

Republican candidates include former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan and 2016 nominee Bud Pierce.

Democrats have won every gubernatorial election in Oregon since 1986, according to the report.

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