Oregon News

Kristof should stay off ballot, secretary of state says

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By JIM REDDEN/ Oregon Capital Bureau  —  

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan on Thursday said the Oregon Supreme Court should keep former New York Times columnist off the ballot as a Democrat nominee for governor.

The filing responded to an appeal by Kristof of her previous ruling that he is not eligible to run for governor, primary because he lived and voted out of state, and did not meet the three-year residency requirement in the Oregon Constitution.

“My focus throughout this process has been to make sure Oregonians can trust the accuracy of their ballots,” Fagan said. “I have a duty to Oregon voters to make sure every candidate on their ballot is qualified to serve.”

Kristof campaign chair Carol Butler responded by saying “Secretary Fagan has yet to point to any legal precedent that supports her questionable political decision to remove Nick Kristof from the ballot. No press release or political spin can change these facts: Three of her predecessors as secretary of state and a former Supreme Court Justice have rejected her position. No other Oregon secretary of state in the past 30 years has applied the residency standard in the way she has. And the only applicable court case in Oregon’s history, Wyatt vs. Myers, contradicts her decision. In the effort to keep one Oregonian out of this race, the voting rights of countless others are at risk.”

Kristof has argued that he was raised in Oregon and considers the state his home, and only moved out for education and employment. He maintains property in the state and said that he and his family repeatedly returns to and lives in.

The pending court decision has both short- and long-term implications. Kristof has raised far more money than any other Democrat contender, including Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, who is stepping down to run for governor, and State Treasurer Tobias Read. The decision also may affect the voting rights of other Oregonians who have multiple residences they do not consider their homes.

The secretary of state’s filing can be found here.

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