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Oregon Supreme Court to review decision to reject Nicholas Kristof's candidacy for governor

Oregon's Supreme Court will review whether Nicholas Kristof, the former New York Times columnist who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the Oregon governor's race, will be allowed to be on the ballot after election officials rejected his filing because he did not meet the state's residency requirement.

Earlier this month, Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, said Kristof had not  been a resident of the state for at least three years before the election. Kristof immediately appealed the decision to the state supreme court.

"I have faith in our judiciary. Oregon voters should be able to decide who will lead our state, and I'm confident that I'll be on the ballot," Kristof tweeted after the court announced they'd take up the case.

The court will receive briefings from Kristof and Fagan in the next two weeks and begin deliberations on January 27. 

Goalkeepers: The Global Goals 2017
File: Journalist Nicholas Kristof speaks speaks at Goalkeepers 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 20, 2017 in New York City.  Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"The issue in this proceeding is whether the Secretary of State erred in concluding that relator had not satisfied the residency requirement," the court wrote about Kristof.

Kristof is an Oregon native and has several residences in the state. He wrote for the New York Times from 1984 to October 2021, when he left to consider a run for Oregon governor. Oregon election officials pointed out that Kristof had voted in New York as recently as 2020, and asserted that his tax payments in New York were also evidence that he is not eligible to run for state office in Oregon. 

In a memo to the court on Monday, Oregon election officials said the court "is the only body that can definitively resolve the constitutional residency question at issue here." They note that the court can ask for Kristof's Oregon state income taxes for 2019 and 2020, a point of contention between Kristof and election officials. 

"Like the elections division said in their ruling letter to Mr. Kristof, our office will do everything possible to allow Oregon courts to decide the matter promptly, with sufficient time to meet the March 17, 2022 statutory deadline for our office to provide an official ballot statement to county clerks, allowing them to design, print, and mail ballots in time for the May election," Fagan said. 

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