JULY 25, 2021
Arizona State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita was booed off stage at a rally featuring former President Donald Trump.
Ugenti-Rita, a Republican, was immediately met with a chorus of loud boos after taking the stage at a “Protect Our Elections” rally hosted by Turning Point Action in Phoenix on Saturday.
“Why don’t you listen to what I have to say?” Ugenti-Rita, who is running for Arizona secretary of state, asked the crowd after several failed attempts to get her speech going.
“Listen. Fine, OK… I am running to be your next Secretary of State. I’m going to win the primary. Thank you very much,” she said, before walking off after around 90 seconds on stage.
Whoaa. GOP Secretary of State candidate @MichelleUgenti is booed off stage at TPUSA rally for Trump. She opposed GOP lawmaker’s wish list for election changes. #AZSOS pic.twitter.com/qlOQkXB5ap
— Brahm Resnik (@brahmresnik) July 24, 2021
Brahm Resnik, a reporter for KPNX, tweeted that the hostile reception Ugenti-Rita received may have been because she “opposed GOP lawmaker’s wish list for election changes.”
Resnik added: “FYI Trump base crowd was primed to boo @MichelleUgenti. Wasn’t anything she said. Boos rained all over room from start till she bailed out.”
Ugenti-Rita, who chairs the Arizona Senate Government Committee, took to Twitter late Saturday to explain why she killed the recent election bill.
“I’ll put my record of fighting for election integrity up against anyone,” she tweeted. “What I won’t do is vote for ‘show’ legislation that does nothing to strengthen election integrity and introduced for self serving reasons. There’s too much at stake.”
There’s too much at stake. Our election system is under constant assault by the left, and I won’t support bills that fail to strengthen our election system.
The same holds true for the audit. I supported the audit, but I do not support the Trump audit any longer. (3of5)
— Michelle Ugenti-RITA (@MichelleUgenti) July 25, 2021
She also explained why she no longer supports a months-long audit of the 2020 election in Arizona’s Maricopa County.
“I won’t support bills that fail to strengthen our election system. The same holds true for the audit. I supported the audit, but I do not support the Trump audit any longer,” she added.
“I wanted to review our election processes and see what, if anything, could be improved. Sadly, it’s now become clear that the audit has been botched.”
Ugenti-Rita’s campaign has been contacted for comment.
Trump appeared on stage later in the evening, where he repeated baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and prompted boos for his former vice president, Mike Pence, after attacking him for not stopping the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
Trump also praised the Arizona audit and called on other states to embark on similar efforts.
The former president’s appearance came after a spat with Arizona State Sen. Paul Boyer, who is among state Republicans calling for the audit to end.
Trump released a statement on Thursday, describing Boyer as a “RINO”—a Republican In Name Only—and accusing him of “doing everything in his power to hold up the damning Forensic Audit of Maricopa County.”
Boyer responded on Twitter, which banned Trump after a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
“Had Trump built the wall like he promised, perhaps he could’ve prevented the 40k #BambooBallots from being imported into Arizona,” Boyer wrote. “And if he hadn’t started an insurrection in D.C. and gotten kicked off here, I could’ve responded directly to him. So there’s that.”