Liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is exploring a possible run for Oregon governor.
Kristof has been reaching out to prominent Democrats about staffing in recent days, Politico reported, citing “three sources familiar with the activity.”
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The liberal columnist, who is an Oregon native, is reportedly “nearing a decision” would shake things up in his home state if he decided to move forward.
“Kristof’s candidacy would rattle the Democratic primary in a state where most campaigns are won by blue-chip progressives who consolidate support from powerful public sector labor unions and benefit from their major spending,” reporters Christopher Cadelago and Zach Montellaro wrote.
Kristof, who has not written for the Times since June, is currently on leave.
“Although Nick has not made up his mind about whether to pursue a political candidacy, we agreed he’d go on leave from The Times, in accordance with Times standards, after he brought this possibility to our attention,” a Times spokesperson said.
Kristof did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I have friends trying to convince me that here in Oregon, we need new leadership from outside the broken political system,” Kristof told the Washington Post earlier this year. “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.”
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is facing term limits and the state’s Democratic primary will be significant as the winner is expected to defeat any Republican challenger in the state that President Biden won by 16 points.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Kristof largely focuses his attention on human rights issues. He recently sent a series of tweets aimed at conservatives who are “gleeful” at the Texas abortion law.
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“The most effective way to reduce abortions isn’t a ban but help with contraception. The advanced country with the lowest abortion rate is the Netherlands, which allows abortion but also provides comprehensive sex ed & family planning,” he wrote.
“Meanwhile, impeding reproductive health and undermining Planned Parenthood just reduces access to contraception — and also reduces access to cancer screening, in a country where we already lose a woman to cervical cancer every two hours,” Kristof added. “How is that pro-life?”