NYT columnist Kristof takes step toward Oregon governor bid

NYT columnist Kristof takes step toward Oregon governor bid

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on Tuesday filed preliminary papers with the Oregon secretary of state’s office in advance of a likely bid for governor in 2022.

Kristof, a native of Yamhill, in Oregon’s wine country, filed a statement of organization for candidate committee, a step that will allow him to raise money for a potential campaign next year. The paperwork is a step short of a formal declaration of candidacy, though it would legally let Kristof hire staff and build a team ahead of a potential run.

Kristof has taken leave from the Times as he has pondered launching a political career. He listed his occupation as journalist, author and farmer.

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter has been preparing a potential run for months. He told Willamette Week, Portland’s alternative weekly, that he had been courted to run by friends in Oregon who wanted to "leadership from outside the broken political system."

He will join what is likely to be an increasingly competitive primary for the right to replace Gov. Kate BrownKate BrownKristof leaves NYT to consider governor bid NYT columnist Kristof takes step toward Oregon governor bid Oregon Republicans sue to block Democrats' redistricting plan MORE (D), who faces term limits.

State House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) and state Treasurer Tobias Read (D) have already said they will run. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) is also said to be considering a run.

The winner of the Democratic primary will be favored in a state that has not elected a Republican governor since 1982. But Republicans have come close to capturing the state several times in recent years; no Democrat has won more than 51 percent of the vote since former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) won the second of his four terms in 1998.