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Nicholas Kristof’s Fundraising Eclipses $2.5 Million Mark

The former journalist continues to lead his rivals in the Democratic primary for governor—and attract support from interesting names.

Democratic candidate for Oregon governor Nicholas Kristof has now raised more than $2.5 million, far more than his two more established competitors in the Democratic primary, House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

Kristof, the former New York Times reporter and columnist who grew up in Yamhill, has reeled in checks from a number of prominent sources, most of them from out of state. One interesting name in his latest haul: Brian W. Ross, a U of O grad turned Wall Street software entrepreneur, who gave Kristof $7,500. (Ross is married to another journalist with Oregon roots: Ann Curry, the longtime NBC reporter and former Today Show host who grew up in Ashland and graduated from the University of Oregon.)

Of perhaps more note to Democratic primary voters: a $100 check from former U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-Ore.), who represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District for nine terms from 1975 to 1993. AuCoin supported Gov. Kate Brown in 2018. His contribution to Kristof, though modest, is another signal of the voter dissatisfaction that has buoyed Kristof and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who is running as a nonaffiliated candidate and has raised $2.9 million this year.

Although most of Kristof’s money has come in big checks from out-of-state donors such as Ross, he has also generated smaller contributions from a large number Oregonians—nearly 5,500 of them.

“It’s heartening to have the support of thousands of Oregonians who also believe in an Oregon that works for everyone,” Kristof said in a statement. “After decades of fighting for people government has cast aside, I won’t back down from our state’s toughest challenges or kick them down the road.”

Correction: This story originally misidentified Brian Ross.