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Oregon Democratic governor candidate Nicholas Kristof takes early lead in money race – OregonLive

Nicholas Kristof, a longtime New York Times columnist, grew up in Oregon and has returned to his farm in Yamhill. On Monday, Kristof's campaign announced he raised more than $1 million.Earl Wilson
Former journalist and Democratic candidate for governor Nicholas Kristof announced Monday that he raised just over $1 million in recent weeks, putting him ahead of all other candidates in fundraising early in the race.
In a news release, Kristof’s campaign touted the number of Oregonians who contributed to his campaign: more than 2,500 people spanning the state, which Kristof cited as evidence “people from every corner of this state are ready for new leadership.” Only 173 of those 2,500 are named in his public campaign finance filings, however, because campaigns don’t need to disclose information about donors who give $100 or less.
Not surprisingly given Kristof’s career writing about international humanitarian issues, some of his largest initial donors are people involved in philanthropy from outside Oregon. Melinda Gates gave $50,000 to Kristof’s campaign, as did investor David Cohen, who is head of a charitable trust and a venture capital fund in Africa. Tom Bernthal, co-founder of strategic marketing company Kelton Global also gave $50,000.
But the most interesting donor to some Oregonians might be the Angelina Jolie Family Trust, which gave Kristof $10,000.
State Treasurer Tobias Read, a Democrat from Garden Home, has reported raising $485,886 so far this year and House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, reported raising $414,103, according to state campaign finance records.
Casey Kulla, a farmer and Yamhill County commissioner also running in the Democratic primary, reported raising $52,344 and and Patrick Starnes, who ran for governor as an Independent in 2018, raised $8,111.
State Sen. Betsy Johnson, a Democrat from Warren who plans to run in the 2022 general election with no party, reported raising just $65,850.
Among Republicans running for governor, Salem physician Bud Pierce leads in fundraising with $748,040, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in his own funds. Next is insurance executive and Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam with $512,445, followed by political consultant Bridget Barton with $355,697, according to state campaign finance records. Medford businesswoman Jessica Gomez has raised $144,745.
Kristof’s highest profile Oregon donors include book store founder Michael Powell, who gave him $5,000, and Columbia Sportswear head lawyer Peter Bragdon, who also kicked in $5,000.
— Hillary Borrud
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