Kristof’s Domicile Is Not His Residence

The Oregon Secretary of State’s office recently confirmed that Nicholas Kristof will not have been a resident of Oregon for three years prior to May 2022, as required by our state Constitution. He is therefore ineligible to run for governor.

Residency requires the physical presence of the person in the state. A person can own property in three states but can only reside in one of them at any given time. For instance, in Nevada a person can become a resident and file for a divorce by actually living in the state for six weeks before filing. 

Kristof clearly has not lived in Oregon for three years prior to our May election. He has been admittedly working and living in New York. (Oregon does allow for at least one exception to the continued residency of three years requirement, which is how Congresspeople can serve at the Capitol). 

Kristof argues that his intent matters in that he has always considered Oregon his true home. Kristof’s intent is irrelevant to the question of residency. Domicile, however, considers intent and is where a person’s true, fixed and permanent home, to where he will return after residing somewhere else, is located. Our Constitution requires that Kristof actually live in the state for three years prior to the election, not just claim Oregon as his home. Kristof’s domicile is not his residence. The secretary of state understood this, and I have no doubt the courts will, too.

Edward Gerdes