Oct 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

NYT columnist Nick Kristof forms PAC for potential Oregon governor run

Nick Kristof and Laurel Weldon

Nick Kristof and director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute Laurel Weldon speaking at an event in 2017. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof formed a political action committee on Tuesday called "Nick for Oregon" ahead of a potential run for Oregon governor.

Why it matters: The move would allow Kristof, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, to raise money and hire staff for a potential gubernatorial campaign.

The big picture: In July, Kristof told two Oregon newspapers that he was considering running for governor in 2022.

  • Current Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is term-limited after this year.
  • Kristof decided to take a leave from the Times in July while he weighs his decision, the New York Times reported.
  • "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 said in July.

Of note: Kristof may not be able to meet Oregon's three-year residency requirement for governor, as he most recently voted as a resident of New York just last year, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.

  • He moved back to his hometown farm in Yamhill, Oregon, in 2019, according to The Oregonian.

What they're saying: Carol Butler, a political consultant who has been working with Kristof in a volunteer capacity said that the committee is allowing the campaign to "continue exploration," according to OPB.

  • “I think that he’ll be a very attractive candidate. I think he’ll attract the resources he needs to run a very competitive race,” Butler added.
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