Nicholas Kristof Can’t Run for Governor in Oregon After Losing Appeal

Nicholas Kristof, a former New York Times columnist who left the newspaper to run for governor of Oregon, does not qualify to appear on the ballot this year, the state’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Justices said that while Mr. Kristof had extensive ties to the state, including a farm that he operates outside of Portland, elections officials were within their right to determine that he did not meet the state’s three-year residency requirement, ruling that he had maintained his New York connections until December 2020.

“He remained registered to vote in New York and retained a New York driver’s license until late 2020, actions that are at odds with an intent to change his domicile to Oregon a year or more earlier,” the justices wrote.

Mr. Kristof, who had argued that he always saw Oregon as home even as his career took him around the world, said in a statement that he was disappointed by the ruling, but that he planned to keep fighting to address problems amid what he described as “a moment of crisis” in the state.

“This ruling represents the end of my campaign for governor,” Mr. Kristof said. “But let me be clear: I’m not going anywhere.”

Mr. Kristof had amassed significantly more campaign money than his fellow Democrats, in part by tapping a network of contacts that helped draw donations from the likes of the philanthropist Melinda French Gates and the actress Angelina Jolie. Other Democrats running to succeed Gov. Kate Brown include Tina Kotek, the former speaker of the state House, and Tobias Read, the state treasurer.

Ms. Kotek said in a statement that Mr. Kristof “has long written about pressing issues facing Oregonians, and his voice will continue to be important as we tackle Oregon’s biggest issues.”

Democrats have held the governor’s office since 1987. Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic state senator, is mounting a campaign as an unaffiliated candidate.

After Secretary of State Shemia Fagan determined last month that he did not meet the residency requirement, Mr. Kristof had decried the decision as a political one that protected the establishment, continuing to cast himself as a political outsider. He and state officials then expedited an appeal in order to obtain a final decision before ballots were printed for the May primary.

When he was a child, Mr. Kristof’s family moved to a sheep and cherry farm in Yamhill, Ore., and he touted his links to the community as part of a campaign message that centered around issues of improving employment opportunities, combating drug addiction and reforming the state’s criminal justice system.

Mr. Kristof left The Times in October as he filed to organize a candidate committee. He won two Pulitzer Prizes with the newspaper, one for reporting on the Tiananmen Square protests in China and another on genocide in Darfur in Sudan.

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