Oregon Supreme Court rules Kristof can’t run for governor

Oregon’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled former New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof cannot run for governor of the state because he does not meet its residency requirements. 

The decision comes after the state’s election officials said in January the former columnist did not meet the three-year residency requirement laid out in the Oregon Constitution. Kristoff has officially been a resident of the state since November of 2019. Kristof and his attorneys have said that he grew up in the state and owns a farm there. 

Kristof called the decision “disappointing” in a statement on Thursday. 

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling excluding me from the ballot is, of course, very disappointing. But while I won’t be on the ballot, I’m not giving up on our State,” Kristoff said. “I know we can be better. I will continue working to help people who are struggling, who lack opportunity and hope, just as I’ve always done.”

Kristof in January predicted his legal challenge against the decision by election officials would be successful. 

“The Secretary of State has attempted to remove me from the ballot in this year’s governor’s race. This is a decision grounded in politics, not precedent. The law is clearly on our side. Our campaign will challenge this decision in court, and we will win,” Kristof said in January. 

Kristof was permitted to take his case straight to the state Supreme Court instead of the circuit court after his lawyers argued that any delay would negatively impact his ability to run a campaign. 

The ruling will likely have an impact on the race to replace Gov. Kate Brown (D), who is term-limited. Kristof has argued he is the front-runner in the Democratic primary race, which also includes former House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon sate Treasurer Tobias Read. The primary election is set to take place in May. 

Updated at 12:10 p.m.

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