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Politics Ex-NYT columnist Kristof announces run for Oregon governor

14:35  28 october  2021
14:35  28 october  2021 Source:   msn.com

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof announced his candidacy Wednesday for Oregon governor, saying the state needs a political newbie to solve problems like homelessness and rural despair.

Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Portland, Ore. Kristof joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking their party's nomination to be the candidate in the 2022 election, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Democrats have held the governor's office since 1987. (AP Photo/Sara Cline) © Provided by Associated Press Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, in Portland, Ore. Kristof joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking their party's nomination to be the candidate in the 2022 election, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Democrats have held the governor's office since 1987. (AP Photo/Sara Cline)

“I've never run for political office in my life,” Kristof said in a campaign video, expressing it as an asset. He said he felt compelled to run for governor because, after covering crises around the world, he was heartbroken to see ones afflicting his home state.

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Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, left, talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, outside the First Presbyterian Church of Portland, in Portland, Ore., as his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, right, and his mother, Jane Kristof, center, look on. Kristof joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking their party's nomination to be the candidate in the 2022 election, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Democrats have held the governor's office since 1987. (AP Photo/Sara Cline) © Provided by Associated Press Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof, left, talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, outside the First Presbyterian Church of Portland, in Portland, Ore., as his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, right, and his mother, Jane Kristof, center, look on. Kristof joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking their party's nomination to be the candidate in the 2022 election, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Democrats have held the governor's office since 1987. (AP Photo/Sara Cline)

Kristof pointed out that many of the kids he grew up with in Yamhill, 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Portland, are dead, their deaths drug- or alcohol-related. Kristof calls them victims of inequality.

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Kristof joins a crowded field of Democrats seeking their party's nomination to be the candidate in the 2022 election, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read. Democrats have held the governor’s office since 1987.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Nicholas Kristof speaks during the Goalkeepers Conference in New York. The former New York Times reporter and columnist announced Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 he is running for governor of Oregon, the state where he grew up on a rural farm. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Nicholas Kristof speaks during the Goalkeepers Conference in New York. The former New York Times reporter and columnist announced Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 he is running for governor of Oregon, the state where he grew up on a rural farm. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

In his video, Kristof said political leaders have been unable to resolve issues such as drug addiction, homelessness, unaffordable housing, a spiraling homicide rate in Portland and weak mental health support.

“Nothing will change until we stop moving politicians up the career ladder year after year, even though they refuse to step up to the problems Oregon faces,” said Kristof, wearing a jacket with the logo of Portland-based Columbia Sportswear.

Former NYT columnist officially launches run for Oregon governor

  Former NYT columnist officially launches run for Oregon governor He left his job earlier this month to prepare for the campaign.Kristof, 62, grew up on a farm in Yamhill County, southwest of Portland, and has moved back to his family's farm in recent years. Kristof left his job at The New York Times earlier this month.

Kristof has faced questions of whether he's even eligible to run for governor. According to the law, a candidate must have been a resident of the state for at least three years before an election. Kristof voted in New York state in November 2020.

“I probably should have changed my registration. I wasn’t focused on paperwork. I was focused on voting to remove President Trump and vote for Joe Biden,” Kristof told reporters in Portland on Wednesday.

A legal opinion by lawyers working for Kristof, first reported by Willamette Week newspaper, said Kristof has always considered Oregon his home, even though his job required him to live around the world.

“Nothing in the Oregon Constitution or the historical sources used to interpret its meaning suggest that registration to vote in another jurisdiction alone disqualifies a person from residential eligibility for governor,” said the opinion, co-written by Misha Isaak, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s former general counsel.

Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn — who also was a New York Times reporter — bought a 150-acre property in Yamhill in 1993 and have worked the land and paid Oregon property taxes on it.

Former NYT columnist Kristof launches Oregon governor run

  Former NYT columnist Kristof launches Oregon governor run Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, is term-limited. The post will likely stay in Democratic hands, and Kristof is far from a frontrunner in the field. He enters a primary to replace Brown that also includes state House Speaker Tina Kotek, state Treasurer Tobias Read and several other candidates. State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is also said to be considering a run. The Republican field includes Bud Pierce, a doctor who was the party’s nominee in a 2016 special election. Brown defeated Pierce by about 7 points that year.

Also trying to illustrate Kristof's ties to this Pacific Northwest state, the lawyers added that Kristof has hiked its entire length on the Pacific Crest Trail, backpacked around Mount Hood (the state's tallest peak) and eaten at Mo’s Seafood and Chowder in Lincoln City, a restaurant chain that's an institution on the Oregon Coast.

Richard Clucas, a political science professor at Portland State University — where Kristof's parents used to teach — said Kristof won't be able to coast to election victory on name recognition. Many Oregonians don't know who Kristof, who won two Pulitzer Prizes as a foreign correspondent and columnist, is.

“He is not a prominent actor, or a professional wrestler, or a reality TV star. He’s a columnist for a publication that has a specific kind of a readership,” Clucas said.

On Monday, he asked his class of around 30 students on state politics who had heard of Kristof. Only two did.

Media coverage of Kristof's announcement will help him gain name recognition, but he faces an uphill battle ahead of the May 17 primary elections in which the Democratic and GOP gubernatorial candidates will be elected.

Kristof's background in rural Oregon could resonate with voters, Clucas said.

“Clearly the issues he has raised are ones that people are concerned about in the state. Some parts of rural Oregon have remained in economic recession since the 1980s," Clucas said.

Kristof, who left The New York Times earlier this month, has written frequently about the economic and social problems of the people he grew up with in Oregon as the region's manufacturing and timber economy collapsed.

“I think we do need to try to build some bridges and try to knit this state together,” Kristof said. "I would hope that, perhaps as a liberal from a rural area, I may have some advantage in trying to do that.”

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown is term-limited and can’t run for the state's top office again. About a dozen Republican candidates have also said they will run for their party's nomination.

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Associated Press/Report for America journalist Sara Cline contributed to this report from Portland.

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Follow Andrew Selsky on Twitter at https://twitter.com/andrewselsky

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usr: 1
This is interesting!