Nicholas Kristof Leaves New York Times as He Considers a Political Run

“This has been my dream job, even with malaria, a plane crash in Congo and periodic arrests abroad for committing journalism,” Mr. Kristof said in a statement included in the note announcing his departure. “Yet here I am, resigning — very reluctantly.”

In July, Mr. Kristof, who grew up on a sheep and cherry farm in Yamhill, Ore., said in a statement that friends were recruiting him to succeed Kate Brown, a Democrat, who has been Oregon’s governor since 2015 and is prevented from running again by the state law.

“Nick is one of the finest journalists of his generation,” A.G. Sulzberger, The Times’s publisher, said in a statement. “As a reporter and columnist he has long embodied the best values of our profession. He is as empathetic as he is fearless. He is as open-minded as he is principled. He didn’t just bear witness, he forced attention to issues and people that others were all too comfortable ignoring.”

As part of the announcement, Ms. Kingsbury noted that Mr. Kristof had been on leave from his column in accordance with Times guidelines, which forbid participation in many aspects of public life. “Journalists have no place on the playing fields of politics,” the handbook states.

Mr. Kristof, a former Beijing bureau chief, won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1990, for international reporting, an award he shared with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, a former reporter, for their coverage of the protests at Tiananmen Square and the crackdown by China’s military. The second, in 2006, recognized his columns on the Darfur conflict in Sudan, which the International Criminal Court has classified as a genocide.