Michelle Ugenti-Rita leaves Fann to appoint someone to the hot seat

The State Senate building is directly beside the Arizona State Capitol building. /Stock/Deposit Photo

By Nathan Brown | Arizona Capitol Times 

One of the most high-profile committee chairmanships in the Legislature is up for grabs. 

Senate Government Committee Chairwoman Michelle Ugenti-Rita, R-Scottsdale, created the vacancy when she resigned from the committee September 30. She has a record of sponsoring Republican election legislation, but she has also publicly criticized the Senate’s partisan audit of the 2020 election results in Maricopa County, and it’s the committee that will likely be taking up legislation arising from the audit.  

 As of October 7, Senate President Karen Fann had yet to announce who she will appoint to the committee in Ugenti-Rita’s place and who the next chairman will be. Whoever it is, they will be in the spotlight in 2022. With some GOP lawmakers calling for changes to voting laws and election procedures in response to the audit report, next year’s session, like this year’s, could be marked by bitter partisan battles over measures that Republicans say will help safeguard against fraud, but Democrats view as attempts to make it harder to vote and put the Legislature’s thumb on the scale in the wake of President Biden’s narrow win in Arizona. 

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