Oregon officials rule Nick Kristof doesn’t qualify for gubernatorial run

Oregon

FILE – Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Portland, Ore. Elections officials in Oregon are seeking more information to determine whether Kristof meets the residency requirements to run for the office. (AP Photo/Sara Cline, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Elections Division says it will reject former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s run for governor, stating he does not meet the constitutional requirement of having been a resident in Oregon for three years before the gubernatorial election, according to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s office.

The office, which regulates elections in the state, said Kristof did not meet the requirements to be a candidate for governor because of the need for a candidate “to have been a ‘resident within this state’ for three years before the election.”

Kristof responded to the announcement in a press conference saying he would challenge the decision and continue his campaign.

“They view my campaign as a threat,” Kristof told the press.

He added, “The challenges we face aren’t gonna go away, and so neither will I … I left a job that I loved because our state cannot survive another generation of leaders turning away from the people they pledge to serve.”

Kristoff said his willingness to “challenge the status quo” is the reason state officials are trying to “toss” him from the ballot.

Earlier in the day, Kristof responded to the decision via Twitter saying, “A failing political establishment in Oregon has chosen to protect itself, rather than give voters a choice.”

He added, “We will challenge this decision in court, and we are confident we will prevail, because the law is on our side.”

Kristof was registered to vote in New York while working as a columnist at the New York Times, and voted in New York State “as recently as 2020,” according to a letter from the Oregon Secretary of State’s office to Kristof’s campaign in December 2021.

Fagan and officials held a press conference on Thursday detailing the decision.

She said that the Oregon Elections Division gave Kristof’s attorneys “ample opportunity” to provide documentation or information to prove his Oregon residency. The division then consulted repeatedly with the U.S. Department of Justice before issuing their decision.

“Mr. Kristof maintained a driver’s license in New York for 20 years. Until recently, he was employed in New York,” explained Fagan. “He received his mail at his New York address. He filed income taxes in New York, and perhaps most importantly, Mr. Kristof voted as a resident for 20 years, including — and this is important — as recently as November of 2020.”

She said that Kristof claimed to have filed income tax in Oregon in 2019 and 2020 but did not provide any documentation to prove he did so as an Oregon resident.

In his press conference, Kristoff said he did not provide his income tax returns because the secretary of state’s office did not ask for them.

Fagan said Kristof “clearly does not meet the constitutional requirement to run or serve as governor of Oregon.”

When asked what will happen with the money donated to Kristof’s campaign, Fagan said that was a question for his team.

“The rules are the rules and they apply equally to all candidates for office in Oregon,” said Secretary of State Shemia Fagan. “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.”

Kristof can appeal this decision through Oregon courts, but time is ticking as the primary election for governor ends May 17 and the OED must meet a March 17 deadline before ballots can begin being printed, officials said.

State officials say Kristof is one of 11 filings the division has disqualified for the office that they seek this year.

Despite saying he would challenge the state’s decision, Kristof did not indicate in his press conference that his legal team has officially filed to appeal the ruling.

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