“I have friends trying to convince me that here in Oregon, we need new leadership from outside the broken political system,” the two-time Pulitzer winner told the alt-weekly outside Portland. “I’m honestly interested in what my fellow Oregonians have to say about that.”
If Kristof decides to run, he will be competing in a Democratic primary to succeed Governor Kate Brown, who has been term limited. 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. Kristof opposed the second Iraq War and was one of the few voices on the opinion page criticizing Israel during its bombing campaign in Palestine in May.
Kristof, who grew up southwest of Portland, returned to the state with his wife, fellow Pulitzer winner Sheryl WuDunn, in recent years to convert a family cherry orchard to a winery. If he sees the plan to fruition, he would join the tradition of journalists turned politicians whose ranks include Winston Churchill and Sarah Palin — both frequent objects of attention on the Times opinion pages over the years.