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If it takes 15 pages to convince somebody you are an Oregon resident, well, it could be the evidence is so overwhelming that there’s a lot to say.

It could be that the argument is not so great, so might as well throw everything in there. Or it could just be complicated.

Which brings us to the 15 pages by lawyers for Nicholas Kristof, arguing yes, he is a resident of Oregon and is qualified to run for governor.

Kristof indisputably won the Pulitzer Prize, twice. The first time was for his reporting of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and a second time for his columns for the New York Times on genocide in Darfur. (You can read the pieces at tinyurl.com/Kristofchina and tinyurl.com/KristofinDarfur. Worth it.)

Kristof indisputably is also Oregon grown, raised in Yamhill. He indisputably owns property there.

Whether he is an Oregon resident may be mostly true or mostly not true. It’s mostly argued so he might be governor. He may meet the requirement for “a resident within this state” for a period of “three years next preceding his election.” It’s not axiomatic. We can’t tell you what a court would decide.

The 15 pages read like a combination of learned treatise, campaign flyer and some odd facts. We learn legal history of the concept of residency. We repeatedly are told Kristof considered Oregon home. He would mention he was “home” in his columns, referring to Oregon. We learn “he made a significant investment to convert his Yamhill family farm from growing cherries to cider apples and wine grapes.” His family “keeps personal items like clothing” at the home in Oregon. The family dog’s name: Crystal.

It also says in 2000, he registered to vote in New York state. He switched it to Oregon in December 2020. And in New York, you must be a resident of New York to vote in New York. Does that mean he is not a resident of Oregon three years preceding the Nov. 8, 2022, election? Or is voting not enough to determine residency?

We’d like to see him run because he’s smart. We would like to hear his vision for Oregon, what policies he would choose to get us there and why we should believe he would be good at governing.

It would be a worse race without him. The Democratic Party primary may be the only part of the race that really matters in the governor’s election. And that field is crowded with candidates such as House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read, and the less well known.

Kristof would give voters another choice and we imagine a meaningfully different one.

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