Michigan state Senate Majority Whip Peter Lucido (R) made a disturbing remark to a female journalist on Tuesday.
Allison Donahue, who works at the local news outlet Michigan Advance, reported on Wednesday that Lucido had made the comment the previous day outside the Senate chamber in front of approximately 30 students from De La Salle Collegiate, an all-boys high school.
“You should hang around! You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you,” he told her.
“The teenagers burst into an Old Boys’ Network-type of laughter, and I walked away knowing that I had been the punchline of their ‘locker room’ talk,” Donahue wrote in her report. “Except it wasn’t the locker room; it was the Senate chamber. And this isn’t high school. It’s my career.”
She said the Republican lawmaker’s comments were “belittling and it came from a place of power.”
When Donahue called him out, an unrepentant Lucido “assured me it was nothing personal and this is just how he talks to young women,” she wrote.
The GOP senator told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday that the incident, which he did not deny, was being “blown out of proportion” and that he was “not talking about anything sexual” when he made the comment.
Then he reversed course, offering a brief apology on Twitter.
“I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue,” he wrote. It is unclear if he contacted her directly to apologize.
At the time of writing, Lucido’s office did not respond to TPM’s request for comment.