Ex-NYT columnist booted off ballot in Oregon governor's race

"A failing political establishment in Oregon has chosen to protect itself, rather than give voters a choice."

Nick Monroe Cleveland Ohio

Pulitzer Prize-winning Nick Kristof quit his job at The New York Times in 2021 after two decades at the news outlet to run for governor of Oregon. The problem is that on Thursday, state officials declared him ineligible to run since they don’t have proof the candidate has lived in Oregon long enough to qualify.

Kristof followed through on his vow Thursday to challenge the decision in court. What it boils down to is the gubernatorial candidate needed to be a resident of Oregon since November 2019. It's unclear whether or not Kristof met these residency requirements based on his transition from being a New York resident to an Oregon transplant, where he managed a farm.

It's this grey area that comes out in the letter announcing the move from the elections division from the Oregon Secretary of State. While aspects like voter registration and a driver’s license are some of the ways the office assesses residency, election officials were willing to look further, citing in the letter:

  • "During the relevant period, you owned and maintained homes in New York and in Oregon but spent most of your time away from Oregon. Before 2019, you spent 'at least part of every summer' in Oregon. You spent more time in Oregon since 2019."
  • "You worked in New York (journalism) and in Oregon (owning/leasing and managing farm property). You stated that you have hired and supervised employees since 2019, but you did not state the extent of your supervision or whether you supervised employees in person or from New York."
  • "You paid income taxes in New York from 1999 to 2021. You paid income taxes in Oregon in 2019 and 2020. You did not explain whether you filed Oregon income tax returns as a nonresident, a part-year resident, or a full-year resident."

Kristof's reaction to the letter is that the Oregon Secretary of State must view his campaign as a threat, if they were to make this decision.

A majority of Kristof's remarks pertain to a variety of issues he sought to address, rather than the points brought up by election officials.

The bottom line is that while Kristof is set to challenge the Oregon Secretary of State's decision to block his 2022 campaign, he's using the moment to campaign about problems facing the state currently.


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