The news that New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof is considering a run for Oregon governor, which WW reported June 18, was met with state and national incredulity.

Kristof wouldn’t say when he’d moved back to his childhood home in Yamhill County. But the county elections clerk tells WW that Kristof has been registered to vote as a Democrat since December 2020.

That lends credibility to the idea that Kristof, who also took a leave of absence last month from the paper, has for months been laying the groundwork for a run.

On July 21, Kristof explained his leave-taking to the subscribers of his newsletter.

“Here’s what happened. In June, I told my editor that I was thinking of a political run, and we agreed that to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, I would take a leave until I made a decision,” Kristof wrote. “If I decide to run, I will depart The Times. If I decide not to, I’ll return to the column. Stay tuned.”

Kristof offered a wry acknowledgment of WW’s story. “I had tried to keep this secret,” he wrote, “but since I’ve spent a career trying to ferret out the secrets of others, maybe it’s karma that mine was reported.” And he ended his note with an entreaty to get a COVID-19 vaccination—which, these days, amounts to a political position.

“And, please, if you haven’t, get vaccinated!” he concluded.