Nickolas Kristof’s Oregon Gov. Campaign Hits Snag

Nicholas Kristof, a former New York Times columnist seeking to become the next governor of Oregon, does not fit qualifications to run for the office this year because he failed to meet the state’s three-year residency requirement, state officials announced on last Thursday.

The decision came after the agency reviewed the voting and taxpaying history of Kristof, including his registration as an Oregon voter in December 2020 after having been previously registered in New York.

In the race to succeed Gov. Kate Brown, who cannot run this year because of term limits, Kristof had emerged as a credible challenger to other hopefuls, including Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator running as an independent; Tobias Read, the state treasurer running as a Democrat; and Tina Kotek, a Democrat who is the speaker of the Oregon House. Mr. Kristof is running as a Democrat. Kristof has raised more than $2 million for his campaign. 

“This is a decision grounded in politics, not in precedent,” Kristof said at an in-person press conference at the Friendly House in Northwest Portland. “The law is clearly on our side. We will challenge this decision and we will win.” Kristof vowed early this afternoon to appeal Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s decision. Kristof questioning whether the process to disqualify him was fair.

Kristof said this afternoon that the secretary of state’s officials never asked him for his tax returns, which he said he would have happily provided. He added that he will make his tax returns public later in the campaign, around the traditional April 15 deadline for payment.