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Nick Kristof's bid for Oregon governor is over, but what becomes of his million dollars in campaign donations?

Nick Kristof campaigning in Eugene, Oct. 28, 2021
Brian Bull
Then-candidate Nick Kristof stumping in Eugene, Oct. 28, 2021.

Former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof is no longer able to run for Oregon governor, but he still has over a million dollars in his campaign war chest. It remains to be seen what Kristof does with that cash.

Many of Kristof’s larger donations came from out of state, including $50,000 checks each from Bill and Melinda Gates, $10,000 from documentary producer Abigail Disney, and the Angelina Jolie Foundation, among others.

In an email to KLCC, Kristof, a Democrat, says he’ll use his surplus money in a “catalytic way” to support causes he championed while on the campaign trail. He did not elaborate, but did discuss homelessness and addiction while a candidate. He was a fundraising juggernaut until the Oregon Supreme Court agreed with the Secretary of State’s determination that Kristof hadn’t lived in Oregon long enough to run for governor.

Kristof’s other options are to return the donations, give the money to charity, donate it to another candidate’s campaign, or hold it for a future run for office.

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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