Politics /

Former New York Times Journalist Is Ineligible Run For Governor In Oregon

The Oregon Elections Division rejected the campaign filing after ruling Nick Kristof was not a state resident

The longtime New York Times columnist who was running for governor of Oregon has been disqualified.

Nick Kristof, a native of the state, announced his gubernatorial campaign in October. He was immediately plagued with questions about his residency and widespread speculation that he did not qualify for a bid for public office.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan announced on Jan. 6 that Kristof did not meet the residency requirements to run for governor. 

“In this instance, the candidate clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon,” Fagan said in a statement to the press.

She did not offer further details of explanation.

In a letter to Kristof, Fagan noted that while he was registered as a voter in Oregon beginning on Dec. 28, 2020, he was registered for the proceeding 20 years as a voter in New York. Kristoff voted there as recently as November 2020.

Fagan’s investigation into Kristof’s residency also found he had a New York driver’s license from 2000 to December of 2020 which “indicates that [he] viewed New York as the place where you intended to permanently return” when he was away.

Kristof also paid income taxes in New York between 1999 and 2021.

While he did pay income taxes in Oregon in 2019 and 2020 because of the farm he manages, Fagan’s office wrote “you stated that you have hired and supervised employees since 2019” but that “you did not state the extent of your supervision of whether you supervised employees in person or from New York.”

Kristoff also did not explain if he files Oregon income taxes “as a nonresident, a part-year resident, or a full-year resident.”

Kristoff maintained a home in New York for several decades, even after he purchased his Oregonian farm.

“You suggest that we should apply a different standard, but we decline to change the way we evaluated residency,” The secretary of state’s office wrote. “Even if we adopt New York’s residency standards, we do not believe that they would lead us to determine that you are an Oregon resident. In some instances, New York Allows a person to choose one of several residences, but it does not allow a person to vote at one residence while claiming the right to vote at another.”

Under the Oregon constitution, a candidate for governor must have been a legal resident of the state for a minimum of three years before the election. Kristof would have needed to be a resident of Oregon by November of 2019 to qualify for the 2022 gubernatorial race.

Kristof filed to run on Dec. 20.

P.K. Runkles-Pearson, a lawyer, emailed a Dec. 1 prediction to his campaign saying the questions of his residency “could wind up in court and drag on for months.”

“She pointed out that county clerks around the state must print ballots for the May primary by March 17 and suggested that Kristof should not delay filing if he intended to run because it could take months for the legal case to play out,” reports The Oregonian.

Kristoff worked for the New York times for almost 38 years before retiring in October of 2021, citing his intention to return to Oregon and seek political office. 

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