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Ex-NYT columnist Kristof announces run for Oregon governor

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Nicholas Kristof speaks during the Goalkeepers Conference in New York. The former New York Times reporter and columnist announced Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 he is running for governor of Oregon, the state where he grew up on a rural farm. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former New York Times reporter and columnist Nicholas Kristof announced Wednesday he is running for governor of Oregon, the state where he grew up on a rural farm.

Kristof, who left the newspaper earlier this month, wrote frequently about the economic and social problems of the people he grew up with in Oregon as the region's manufacturing and timber economy collapsed.

The political newcomer will run as a Democrat.

“It was hard to leave a job I loved, but it’s even harder to watch your home state struggle when you feel you can make a difference on issues like homelessness, education and good jobs,” Kristof, 62, said on Facebook.

He faces a crowded Democratic field, with Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and state Treasurer Tobias Read already among the gubernatorial candidates for the 2022 race.

About a dozen Republican candidates have also said they will run.

Democrats in Oregon have overwhelming majorities in the Legislature and the party has held the governor’s office since 1987.

Incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, cannot run for re-election due to term limits.