Oregon Supreme Court to decide Kristof eligibility

Jan 12, 2022, 6:22 PM | Updated: 6:45 pm

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to determine whether former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof is eligible to run for governor, less than a week after election officials declared him ineligible because he failed to meet the three-year residency requirement.

Both Kristof’s attorney and Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan wanted the state’s highest court to take the case and to move quickly, with a March 17 deadline looming for finalizing the list of candidates for the primary ballot.

In an email sent by his spokeswoman, Kristof expressed delight at the court’s decision.

“It’s wonderful news that the Oregon Supreme Court will take up my residency case on an expedited basis,” he said. “I have great confidence in the Oregon judiciary.”

On Jan. 6, Fagan announced that Kristof was ineligible to run in this year’s election because he didn’t meet the three-year residency requirement, shown most of all by his having voted in New York in 2020.

“If a person casts a ballot in another state, they are no longer a resident of Oregon. It’s very, very simple,” Fagan said. She told reporters that Kristof’s claim to have been an Oregon resident the past several years “just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

The court’s order, signed by Chief Justice Martha Walters, “commanded” Fagan to accept Kristof’s candidacy, deem him eligible to hold office as governor and have county clerk’s include him as a candidate for Democratic gubernatorial nominee in the May primary, or show cause for not doing so.

The court said briefs from Kristof must be submitted on Jan. 14, briefs from Fagan on Jan. 20 and Kristof’s reply brief, if any, on Jan. 26. The court said it will begin deliberating the next day with no oral arguments.

Kristof grew up in Yamhill, Oregon, has maintained property and spent summers there.

“Oregon has always been my home, and it is important that Oregonians have the chance to decide who they want to serve as our state’s next governor,” Kristof said Wednesday.

As a foreign correspondent for The New York Times he, along with his then-reporter wife Sheryl WuDunn, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their reporting in China on the Tiananmen Square democracy movement and its subsequent suppression. Kristof won journalism’s top prize again in 2006 for commentary on mass killings in Darfur, Sudan.

He lived overseas and in New York, but said he never relinquished his claim to be an Oregon resident, even when he voted in New York in 2020. He calls himself a political outsider and within a couple of weeks after declaring he’ll run for the state’s highest office, raised over $1 million.

Kristof’s campaign obtained an opinion by retired Oregon Supreme Court Justice William Riggs that Kristof has been a resident of Oregon since at least November 2019 “and likely much longer.”

Riggs said that Kristof’s voting in New York would undermine his Oregon residency only if it established that he didn’t intend Oregon to be his permanent home.

Kristof has blasted Fagan’s Jan. 6 announcement that he was ineligible, tweeting a short time later that “a failing political establishment in Oregon has chosen to protect itself.”

Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, who is a Democratic candidate for governor, criticized Kristof for his reaction.

“To accuse career public servants in the Secretary of State’s office of some kind of conspiracy to keep him off the ballot is beneath him and the dignity of the office he seeks,” Read wrote. “I’d expect that kind of talk from Donald Trump, not someone who wants to be the next governor of Oregon.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

1 day ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

1 day ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

6 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

9 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

9 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University: innovating Arizona health care education

Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus near Loop 101 and 59th Avenue is an established leader in health care education and one of Arizona’s largest and most valuable health care resources.

Oregon Supreme Court to decide Kristof eligibility