Former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof can’t run for governor because he does not satisfy the residency requirement, Oregon’s secretary of state said on Thursday.
Kristof grew up in rural Oregon and owns property in the state. Shemia Fagan’s office reportedly reviewed Kristof’s voting record in New York in the recent 2020 general election and took into consideration Kristof maintaining his New York driver’s license up until December 2020. He also continued paying New York income taxes past the November 2019 deadline for the 2022 gubernatorial race to establish residency in Oregon.
The secretary of state said in a letter the place where a person votes is powerful and that him voting in New York “strongly indicates” that he considered it as a place where he would permanently return. Regarding his property, the office said he maintained homes in both New York and Oregon, but spends most of his time away from Oregon.
Based on these findings, Kristof can appeal the secretary of state’s decision in a circuit court.
The letter also noted that Kristof paid income taxes in New York from 1999 to 2021 and in Oregon in 2019 and 2020. Fagan’s office noted that he did not explain whether he filed Oregon income tax returns as a non-resident, part-year resident or full-year resident.
The former columnist resigned from The New York Times in October after going on leave from the company earlier in the year. He told a local reporter that his friends have been “trying to convince” him that the state needs new lawmakers “from outside the broken political system.”
Kristof won Pulitzer Prizes in International Reporting in 1990 and Commentary in 2006. He had intended to run as a Democrat.