New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is leaving his job as he continues to consider running for governor of Oregon, where he grew up. He has been on leave since June, when he first revealed his interest in the run.
“Some news: I’m leaving a job I love,” he tweeted simply on Thursday.
In a statement released by the organization, he said, “This has been my dream job, even with malaria, a plane crash in Congo and periodic arrests abroad for committing journalism. Yet here I am, resigning — very reluctantly.”
The Times announced his departure in a piece outlining his 37 years with the paper and his plans to pursue a political career.
He told a local reporter that his friends have been “trying to convince” him that the state needs new lawmakers “from outside the broken political system” in July.
“I’m honestly interested in what my fellow Oregonians have to say about that,” he added during his interview with Portland-based Willamette Week.
Kristof, who won Pulitzer Prizes in International Reporting in 1990 and Commentary in 2006, would be running as a Democrat.
“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,” he said. He did not tell Willamette Week when he moved back to Oregon, though the outlet noted he’s been working on his family’s orchard in Yamhill for at least two years.
Last year, when Willamette Week published excerpts from the book he and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, wrote about the failures of the American dream — which heavily focused on the stories of childhood friends from Oregon who grapple with poverty and drug use — he told the publication, “This is not just a Trump problem or just a Republican problem. Both parties over 50 years have their fingerprints on policies that were disastrous for a lot of working-class Americans. Mass incarceration is one example.”