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Oregon Supreme Court to decide Kristof eligibility

Election officials declared the former NYT journalist ineligible to run for governor because he failed to meet the three-year residency requirement.
Credit: AP
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. (AP Photo/Sara Cline, File)

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court has agreed 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 Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum had asked the state’s highest court to take the case and to move quickly, with a March 17 deadline for finalizing the list of candidates for the primary ballot looming. 

The court said briefs are due before it begins deliberating the matter on Jan. 27, with no oral arguments.

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 for eligibility under the Oregon Constitution. 

Kristof contested the ruling in a tweet that afternoon and vowed to challenge the decision in court. He struck a similar tone at a press conference a couple hours later, decrying the ruling as a political decision made by "insiders" who were spooked by his campaign. 

"My willingness to challenge the status quo is the reason state officials are trying to toss me from the ballot," he said. "That's also the reason I'm going to win this race and become Oregon's next governor."

Kristof grew up in Oregon and made his name over a 37-year career as a reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He left the paper last year while mulling a run for governor as a Democrat, and formally announced his intention to run in October.