New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof Resigns As He Weighs Bid for Oregon Governor

From a story on  by Felicia Sonmez and Amy B. Wang of the Washington Post headlined “Columnist Nicholas Kristof resigns from New York Times as he weighs big for Oregon governor”:

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist at The New York Times, is leaving the newspaper after 37 years as he continues weighing a bid for Oregon governor.

Kristof, who had been an opinion columnist at The Times since 2001, had been on a leave of absence from the newspaper since June as he decided whether to run for political office. Though he has not announced a campaign, Kristof on Tuesday filed a statement to organize a candidate committee with the Oregon secretary of state, specifying the 2022 primary race for Oregon governor.

If he pursues a bid, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author and former foreign correspondent would become one of the most well-known media figures in recent memory to make a run for political office….

In an email to the newsroom about Kristof’s departure, New York Times opinion editor Kathleen Kingsbury said Kristof had redefined the role of opinion columnist “in the best possible way … with a mix of incisive reporting, profound empathy and a determination to bear witness to those struggling and suffering across the globe.”…

Kristof, 62, grew up on a farm southwest of Portland, according to Willamette Week. The Times reported in June that Kristof and his wife, writer Sheryl WuDunn, returned to Oregon two years ago and that Kristof had recently become more involved in managing the family farm. In his filing this week to organize a candidate committee in Oregon, Kristof listed his occupation as “Journalist, Author, Farmer.”

“I have friends trying to convince me that here in Oregon, we need new leadership from outside the broken political system,” Kristof said in June. “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 has been a Times columnist since 2001 and is best known for his foreign correspondence; he and WuDunn won the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for their coverage of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. Kristof won the Pulitzer Prize in commentary in 2006 for his columns on the genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Kristof and WuDunn have also written several books, including “Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope,” which was published last year.

Regardless of whether Kristof enters the race, Oregon’s Democratic gubernatorial primary field could wind up being a crowded one. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, D, is term-limited, and the 2022 Democratic primary field is wide open. At least six people are considering bids, including state Treasurer Tobias Read, state Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and state House Speaker Tina Kotek.


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