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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kristof asks Oregon high court to overturn residency decision

FILE – Former New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof talks about his candidacy for governor of Oregon on Oct. 27, 2021, in Portland, Ore. Oregon’s secretary of state ruled Thursday, Jan. 6, 2021, that Kristof is not eligible to run for governor. Questions about Kristof’s residency had dogged him even before he announced his candidacy in October. According to Oregon law, a candidate must have been a resident of the state for at least three years before an election.  (Sara Cline)
Associated Press

Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. – Former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court on Friday, asking justices to quickly overturn Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s determination he does not meet the state Constitution’s three-year residency requirement to run for governor.

“In the absence of this Court’s intervention, voters will be marginalized, and the gubernatorial race will be irreversibly altered by a lone government official applying novel and untested legal reasoning,” Kristof’s attorneys wrote.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that while such a matter would typically first work its way up through the court system, beginning at the circuit level, Kristof argued Oregon’s high court should put an end to questions about his residency soon – well before a March 17 deadline for candidates to qualify for the May Democratic primary ballot.

If justices do not find reason to force Fagan to overturn her decision, Kristof requested that she be forced to explain in court why she would not approve his candidacy.

Kristof’s arguments in the petition and a concurrent memo filed with the court mirror arguments his attorneys have been making for months: The Pulitzer Prize-winner grew up in Yamhill, has long maintained property and summered there, and has said he always considered Oregon to be his home.

But Kristof has spent much of his life outside the state, living in New York and abroad to pursue his profession. He voted as a New York resident in November 2020, and possessed a New York driver’s license the same year.

Democrats have held Oregon’s governor’s office since 1987. Those running for the state’s high office include Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read.

Republicans seeking their party’s nomination include state Rep. Christine Drazan, former Republican nominee Bud Pierce and Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam.