Former NY Times Columnist Ruled Ineligible To Run For Oregon Governor
Former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Journalist Nicholas Kristof speak during the Eighth Annual Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 6, 2017 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The Oregon Elections Division ruled on Thursday that former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a Democrat, is ineligible to run for governor due to failure to meet the state’s residency requirement.

Oregon requires a gubernatorial candidate to be a “resident within this state” for at least three years prior to an election.

“The rules are the rules and they apply equally to all candidates for office in Oregon. I stand by the determination of the experts in the Oregon Elections Division that Mr. Kristof does not currently meet the Constitutional requirements to run or serve as Oregon Governor,” Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan said in a statement.

“As Oregon’s chief elections official, it is my responsibility to make sure all candidates on the statewide ballot are qualified to serve if elected. The Oregon Elections Division and local election officials use the same standards to determine qualifications for hundreds of candidates in dozens of offices every year. In this instance, the candidate clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon,” she added.

The announcement noted that Kristof could choose to appeal the state’s decision.

“If Mr. Kristof chooses to appeal, the Oregon Elections Division is committed to doing everything possible to allow  Oregon courts to decide promptly,” Deborah Scroggin, Oregon Elections Director, said.

“My office remains focused on ensuring a fair process and meeting our March 17th deadline, after which clerks begin printing ballots. While the primary election is in May, for Oregon’s elections administrators, the work begins much sooner,” she added.

The Hill reported, “Kristof, who owns homes in both New York and Oregon, voted in New York in the 2020 election, putting him past the deadline to establish residency in Oregon ahead of the 2022 midterms.”

Kristof reportedly left the Times in October in preparation for his run for governor in Oregon’s Democratic primary. In addition to serving at the Times, Kristof has been a regular CNN contributor and is the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes.

In December, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that questions remained regarding Kristof’s eligibility.

“We typically determine whether candidates meet residency requirements by checking their voter registration records, but your Oregon voter registration record has insufficient information,” Lydia Plukchi, a compliance specialty with the office, wrote in a letter to Kristof, according to the report.

“In addition, it has come to our attention that you voted in New York State as recently as 2020. Our office has reviewed the published legal memo concerning your residency in Oregon, but the memo does not address the effect of that vote on your Oregon residency,” it added.

Kristof announced his bid as the state’s next governor in a video on October 27.

“Let’s make Oregon a place that rewards American values like hard work and initiative,” Kristof said in the video, “but that also understands that being down on your luck should never be a death sentence.”

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