Minneapolis council member takes chewed gum from her mouth, gives it to her opponent

Teqen Zéa-Aida says he was "totally shocked" when he was given the chewed gum.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Lisa Goodman has represented Ward 7 on the Minneapolis City Council for 20 years now – that includes high-traffic areas of downtown, and neighborhoods such as Loring Park, Cedar-Isles-Dean and Bryn-Mawr.

On Wednesday night, she took chewed gum from her mouth and dropped it in the hand of one of her challengers at a community meeting.

The bizarre incident (even the New York Post thought it was weird enough to pick up) was first publicized by Wedge LIVE!, a hyper-local Minneapolis news site.

The Wedge LIVE! reporter was at a Ward 7 candidate forum being held at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, where Goodman and her opponents were set to talk about affordable housing.

One of those opponents? Teqen Zéa-Aida, an adoptee who was born in Colombia, is now a local artist and small business owner, and identifies as LGBTQ. He's running against Goodman to represent Ward 7.

And had her chewed gum plopped into his hand.

Wedge LIVE! has photos of it happening (and also put together a video with the images).

"Right before we started [Goodman] asked if I would take her gum," Zéa-Aida wrote on Facebook late Tuesday. "Me, thinking I had unkind breath said yes. She literally took gum out of her mouth and put it in my hand to which I (totally shocked) asked, what am I supposed to do with this?"

Goodman says she was anxious, it was a joke

Katie Drahos, who says she manages Zéa-Adia's campaign, wrote about the gum spitting on Facebook afterward, saying they've only shown respect for Goodman – and "for her to respond by basically spitting in Teqens [sic] hands is very telling of ones character."

Goodman responded in a Facebook reply, saying she is "truly sorry" that Zéa-Adia "felt I disrespected him."

"Like him I was anxious before the forum and had to get ride [sic] of my gum," she said, explaining she didn't know where to put it. So she "asked him in a humorous manner if he would take it. I had no idea he felt uncomfortable with my joke and it was not meant in any nasty or disrespectful way."

Goodman also wrote she would "of course apologize personally," adding she's sorry if her attempt to be funny "wasn't viewed that way by Teqen, who I hold in high regard."

The whole thing has Zéa-Adia and his campaign "even more committed to seeing change in ward 7 and across Minneapolis," he wrote.

Goodman, Zéa-Adia and two other candidates for Ward 7 (Janne Flisrand and Joe Kovacs) will be on the ballot for neighborhood voters on Nov. 7.

Yes, there's another election this year. There are no statewide or U.S. races – it's all city officers, school board members, and other local positions. You can check out the ballot for where you live by going here.

Next Up

minneapolis police

Police arrest man in connection to deadly Minneapolis hit-and-run

The victim died the scene in north Minneapolis on Friday.

Jordan Greenway

Wild's fast start vanishes in loss to Coyotes

Arizona scored five unanswered goals in a 5-2 loss.

Screen Shot 2021-03-06 at 4.12.00 PM

Police seeking tips in search for road rage shooting suspect

The incident took place in Maplewood last week.

Paige Bueckers

Paige Bueckers lands on Wooden Award list for women's college basketball

The Hopkins grad is the only freshman on the 15-player ballot.

Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Gophers fall under .500 after OT loss to Rutgers

The Gophers are under .500 for the first time this season.

police tape, crime scene

Man arrested for killing of his father in Wabasha County

The 73-year-old man was found dead at a home in rural Zumbro Falls.

Jake Odorizzi

Report: Jake Odorizzi to sign with Astros

The former Twins pitcher is headed to Houston on a two-year deal.

covid-19, coronavirus

South African COVID-19 variant detected in Wisconsin

There have been no cases of the South African strain found in Minnesota.

Brian Dutcher

Could Brian Dutcher be Gophers target to replace Richard Pitino?

Dutcher's contract has a buyout clause that could lead him to Minnesota.

Related

Council member who made history will now run for mayor in St. Paul

Dai Thao became the first Hmong-American council member in St. Paul history.

Council Member Jacob Frey announces bid to be Minneapolis' next mayor

He's the fourth DFLer who's running to unseat Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Kassim Busuri

St. Paul council member facing accusations of homophobia

Old Facebook posts made by Kassim Busuri have surfaced.

Radio host says Al Franken forcibly kissed her during USO skit rehearsal, groped her breasts

A radio host published the allegations Thursday, saying it happened during a 2006 USO tour.

City council member who threatened reporter is charged

The incident during a meeting in Roosevelt happened earlier this month.

Minneapolis council member responds to racially charged Photoshop blunder

The racially charged campaign mailer was sent out last week.

Minneapolis will soon have 2 transgender city council members

Phillipe Cunningham beat incumbent Barb Johnson.