New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is leaving the paper that has been his platform for 37 years as he considers launching a bid for governor in his home state of Oregon.
Kristof has been on leave from the newspaper since June while exploring a new career in politics. On Tuesday, he filed papers to form a committee that would allow him to raise money and hire staff for a potential campaign, even though an adviser insisted he had not made a final decision.
In a statement to staff attached to the announcement of his departure, Kristof greeted what he called a “dream job” that has allowed him to travel around the world and, despite a battle with malaria, a plane crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo and occasional arrest.
“[P]precisely because I have a good job, excellent editors and the best readers, I can be an idiot to leave. But you all know how much I love Oregon and how much I’ve been burned by the old friends’ suffering there. So I have reluctantly concluded that I should not just try to reveal problems, but also see if I can fix them directly, ”Kristof said in the statement.
“It’s hard to overstate how much I’ll miss him as a reader and as a colleague,” publisher AG Sulzberger said in a note to Times staff.
Kristof, 62, grew up in Yamhill, a small town in the heart of Oregon’s wine-producing Willamette Valley. His family owns a farm in the area where he and his wife, author Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheryl WuDunn, have grown their own grapes.
Papers submitted to the Oregon Secretary of State say Kristof would run for governor as a Democrat in a state that has not elected a Republican governor since 1982, the second-longest row of democratic control in the nation.
But he faces a crowded primary among battle-proven Democratic candidates running to replace Gov. Kate BrownKate Brown NYT columnist Kristof takes action against Oregon governor bidding Oregon Republicans rally to block Democrats ‘redistribution plan Judge rejects Oregon State Police troopers’ request to stop governor vaccination mandate MORE (D) who retires due to time constraints.
State House President Tina Kotek (D) and Treasurer Tobias Read (D) have already announced that they intend to run. This is how Yamhill County Commissioner Casey Kulla (D), who sits on the board of Kristof’s home county, has. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum (D) is also rumored to be considering running for promotion.
There are no fewer candidates on the Republican side, with Doctor Bud Pierce, the 2016 nominee, being the likely frontrunner. Pierce took 43 percent of the vote against Brown that year. Statssens. Tim Knopp (R) and Kim Thatcher (R) are also considering campaigns.
Although Oregon is a deep blue state – President BidenJoe BidenSemain fundraising in Europe as reconciliation talks ‘ongoing’: report Mexico calls for more US investment in Central America to stem migration flows Trump calls for Take Back Virginia Rally to hype Youngkin MORE held its seven ballots by a 16-point margin in 2020 Democrats have won increasingly narrow races for governor in recent years. No Democratic gubernatorial candidate has won more than 51 percent of the vote there since 1998, when John Kitzhaber won the second of what would eventually be four terms.