NY Times Columnist Mulling Run for Oregon Governor

The New York Times reported on July 19th that its columnist Nick Kristof took a leave of absence last month. That disclosure follows a report by Portland, Oregon free paper The Willamette Week that the two-time Pulitzer winner is considering a run for Oregon governor in 2022. Pollsters began calling Oregonians in recent days testing his viability.

Kristof had moved back to Oregon, although it’s uncertain as to exactly when he made the move to establish residency.

“I have friends trying to convince me that here in Oregon, we need new leadership from outside the broken political system,” Kristof told Willamette Week. “I’m honestly interested in what my fellow Oregonians have to say about that. All I know for sure is that we need someone with leadership and vision so that folks from all over the state can come together to get us back on track.”

Kristof grew up on a farm with sheep and cherry orchards in Yamhill County. The Harvard-educated Rhodes scholar made a name for himself as a foreign correspondent covering Tiananmen Square and Darfur. As a columnist, he has highlighted international human rights issues. But last year, he co-authored a book called Tightrope on America and its inequities, which included stories from his hometown about an hour southwest of Portland.

Over the past year, several of Kristof’s columns have covered Oregon issues: logging wars in John Day, an uprising outside federal courthouses, and the lessons from “the uses and abuses of progressivism” in a troubled Portland. Those columns take on new significance in light of his political ambitions.

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