Does Oregon consider Nick Kristof a resident? It depends.
The Oregon Secretary of State's Office is questioning whether former New York Times columnist has lived in the state long enough to run for governor.
But the same office has honored Kristof by listing him twice as a Pulitzer Prize winning Oregonian in the newest edition of the "Oregon Blue Book," the official state factbook the office publishes.
Kristof was raised in Yamhill and owns his family's farm there. He filed as a Democrat for the 2022 governor's race on Dec. 20. The Oregon Constitution requires that candidates for governor be a resident of the state for three years prior to the election. Kristof maintains that he has always considered Oregon his home, even though he moved out of the state for college and employment, and registered to vote in New York while working there. Kristof said that he has returned repeatedly to the farm over the years and invested in it.
The office regulates Oregon elections. The day after Kristof filed, it sent him a letter that said, in part, "We typically determine whether candidates meet residency requirements by checking their voter registration records, but your Oregon voter registration record has insufficient information. In addition, it has come to our attention that you voted in New York State as recently as 2020."
The letter gave Kristof until Monday, Jan. 3, to provide additional documentation about his Oregon residency.
But the 2020-21 "Oregon Blue Book" includes Kristof twice in its list of Oregonians who have won the Pulitzer Prize. The first was in 1990 with his wife Sheryl WuDunn for international reporting for the Times. The second was in 2006 for commentary in the Times. Other prize-winning Oregonians in the list include Linus Pauling, Willamette Week reporter Nigel Jaquiss, and several Oregonian reporters.
Other Democrats running for governor include State Treasurer Tobias Read and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kopek, who represents portions of North Portland.
A Marion County Circuit Court judge ruled that where a candidate registers to vote does not determine where they consider their home.
[Related: A Portland Tribune Reporter's Notebook on the ruling can be found here.]
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