Kristof Leaving Times, Prepares Run for Office

2-time Pulitzer winner is gearing up for governor's race in Oregon
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2021 6:28 AM CDT
Updated Oct 14, 2021 9:45 AM CDT
Governor Kristof? Times Columnist Explores a Run
Journalist Nicholas Kristof, in 2017.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(Newser) Update: Nicholas Kristof is shifting from columnist to politician. The longtime New York Times opinion writer is leaving the newspaper as he considers a run for governor in Oregon, per the Times. "This has been my dream job, even with malaria, a plane crash in Congo and periodic arrests abroad for committing journalism," Kristof said in a statement. "Yet here I am, resigning—very reluctantly." This week, Kristof filed the paperwork to organize a candidate committee with the state. Our original story from July follows:

Best known as a New York Times columnist who writes about human rights abuses, Nicholas Kristof is considering a change of profession: The Willamette Week of Oregon reports that the 62-year-old is exploring a 2022 run for governor in his native state. "I have friends trying to convince me that here in Oregon, we need new leadership from outside the broken political system," he tells the newspaper. "I'm honestly interested in what my fellow Oregonians have to say about that." The Oregonian reports that Kristof moved back to his family farm in Yamhill, about an hour southwest of Portland, in 2019. He and his wife, fellow journalist Sheryl WuDunn, are converting the longtime cherry orchard into a grape and cider apple farm.

Kristof's Twitter bio refers to himself as an "Oregon farmboy turned NY Times columnist," notes Axios. The state's current governor, Democrat Kate Brown, cannot run again because of term limits. "What he lacks in direct political experience, he makes up for in decades-worth of progressive stances in a state in which Joe Biden beat Donald Trump by over 16 points last November," notes Matt Stieb at New York. Kristof is a two-time Pulitzer winner, his first for coverage of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1990 and the second for commentary on genocide in Darfur in 2006. Last year, he and his wife wrote a book, Tightrope, about working-class America that included a look at his native Yamhill. (Read more Nicholas Kristof stories.)

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