Minneapolis, Minnesota. USA Sept 22: Twenty-year incumbent Minneapolis City Council Member, Lisa Goodman took a gum out of her mouth and handed her chewing gum to a challenger, Teqen Zea-Aida, at the Ward 7 Affordable Housing candidate Forum. Something for the opponent to chew over indeed.
Zéa-Aida wrote on Facebook that he thought he had bad breath when Goodman offered him some gum.:
“She is a master of nasty politics for sure! I now know what she is capable of first hand, and why she must go. I will not be fooled again”.
Goodman tells the Tribune she couldn’t find any paper to get rid of her gum and was just making a lighthearted comment. Zea-Aida wondered if Goodman was hinting he had bad breath and thought she was offering him gum.
In what is supposed to pass for an apology, Goodman said on Facebook that she’s sorry if her opponent “felt I disrespected him.”
“It was an attempt at humor,” she said, adding she’s sorry if it wasn’t viewed that way.
She said “Zéa-Aida looked at me like I was crazy. He misunderstood what I said, I misunderstood him putting his hand out, I put the gum in his hand and then he looked at me like I was crazy and I took it back out of his hand,” Goodman later told the Tribune. “It was a simple attempt at humor that I am profoundly sorry for.”
Goodman is an experienced public figure, however, Zéa-Aida said, and he doesn’t believe the gum handoff was unintentional.
“If you look at the video or the pictures up close, her face is very determined,” he said.
Photo: Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman handed her chewing gum to Teqen Zéa-Aida, a challenger for the Seventh Ward council seat, at a candidate forum Tuesday. A third candidate, Joe Kovacs, looked on.
Goodman said Thursday she’d called and texted Zéa-Aida to apologize and he hadn’t responded. He said Thursday he didn’t want to discuss it with her, but later said he would accept her apology.
“We all make mistakes and we are all under pressure,” he said. “I don’t get her actions but I must have forgiveness.”
Goodman, a 20-year incumbent, has three challengers in the run for the Seventh Ward council seat: Zéa-Aida, Janne Flisrand and Joe Kovacs.