N.Y. Times’ Nick Kristof Can’t Run for Oregon Governor

Today’s announcement is State ex rel. Kristof and Fagan:

Relator [Kristof]He is an aspiring candidate for governor. He filed his declaration of candidacy to the Secretary of State. The secretary then asked relative for more information in support of his claim that he “was three years previous to his election, a resident of this State,” which is required by Article V. section 2 of the Oregon Constitution to become governor.

Additional materials were submitted by relator to support his claim of constitutional eligibility. The secretary reviewed the materials and determined that although relative had lived in Oregon previously, he was a New York resident since 2000. Furthermore, relator hadn’t reestablished Oregon residency until November 2019. The secretary therefore concluded that relator did not meet the constitutional requirement….

Correctly, the Elections Division stated that the Elections Division was not able to decide whether a candidate is enough “Oregonian” or examine “the depth and sincerity of an individual’s emotional attachment to Oregon.” It is not the role of this court. Relator has been a resident of Oregon for many years and it is not difficult to see why.

We must decide on two issues in this case: 1) what the Oregon Constitution defines as “resident within the State”; 2) whether the Secretary was required to conclue that the relative met the legal standard.

When viewed in the context of the Oregon Constitution’s 1857 Ratification, “resident within” can be understood as “domicile.” This legal concept requires “the existence of fixed habitation in a place and the intent to stay there indefinitely or permanently.”[.]” Reed’s Will (Or. 1906). This legal principle states that a person may only have one residence.

We also hold, for the following reasons, that the secretary was not required to determine that relator resided in Oregon from November 2019 through December 2020. We conclude that, even though relator raises constitutional questions about Article V section 2’s durational residency requirement, that issue is not adequately addressed through the mandamus proceeding. We therefore … deny relator’s petition….

We recognize that relator has longstanding ties to Oregon, that he owns substantial property and operates a farm here, and that the secretary did not question his current  Oregon residency. Moreover, he has thought deeply and written extensively about the challenges faced by those living in rural areas of Oregon—and the rest of the country.
This isn’t the problem. Instead, the issue is whether relative was, in the three years prior to the November 2022 elections, “a resident of this State”. The reasons given above lead us to believe that the secretary wasn’t required to determine that relator met that requirement.