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Sen. Ugenti-Rita is leaving a key committee, and she's blaming President Fann

By Mark Brodie
Published: Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 12:43pm
Updated: Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 6:34pm

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Michelle Ugenti-Rita Turning Point Rally
Gage Skidmore/The Star News Network, CC BY 2.0
Michelle Ugenti-Rita at Turning Point Action event in July 2021.

A Republican state senator has left a key legislative committee and is blaming the Arizona Senate president for it.

Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale says she’s giving up her seat on the chamber’s Appropriations Committee. She had already stepped down from her position as chair of the Senate Government Committee. 

Ugenti-Rita, who’s running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, has also become a critic of the so-called audit of Maricopa County’s election, calling it “botched,” and criticizing Senate President Karen Fann for a “total lack of competence” over the previous several months. 

Ugenti-Rita spoke with The Show about her decision to leave that important committee and her reaction to a recent Arizona Supreme Court ruling that voided several non-budget-related items that were put into budget bills.

The Show also reached out to Senate President Karen Fann to give her a chance to respond to the criticism leveled against her by Senator Ugenti-Rita. In an emailed statement sent to us through her deputy chief of staff, Fann says:

“As a general rule, I have chosen to resolve disagreements through direct, open communication with my caucus rather than through the media. Since I was not afforded that opportunity in this instance, I will reluctantly respond here - in the medium chosen by the Senator from District 23. As Republicans we are the party of personal responsibility, so it’s disheartening that this Senator refuses to take responsibility for her own actions, including her demands during the budget now subject to the court’s ruling, her lack of attendance that necessitated committee additions, or her regular absence from scheduled caucus meetings to air grievances amongst our team in a collaborative setting, choosing instead to take them to the media first. I’ll reiterate that I’m disheartened by the Senator’s behavior, but I’m not surprised, given her history of choosing conflict over compromise throughout her political career.”

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