Arizona state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita could barely get a word in during a planned speech at the Trump-headlined Phoenix rally on Saturday evening.
"Listen up!" she said as the conservative crowd noise began to rise. Cries of disapproval continued when the Arizona Secretary of State hopeful pitched herself.
Ugenti-Rita was booed from the moment she started walking onto the stage, and the crowd didn't stop, despite her repeated requests for the audience to give her a chance to speak. She wound up having to end her speech early, but not before saying that she would "win the primary" ahead of the packed election.
"She opposed GOP lawmaker's wish list for election changes," commented KPNX-TV reporter Brahm Resnik, noting that the pro-Trump crowd was "primed" to boo Ugenti-Rita. "Boos rained all over room from start till she bailed out."
According to the Daily Caller, the prevailing assumption is that the crowd was angry with Ugenti-Rita because of a recent vote of hers which helped kill a bill on election integrity, siding with the Arizona Democrats on that issue.
At the "Rally to Protect Our Elections," former President Donald Trump had harsh words for Ugenti-Rita and her GOP colleague Paul Boyer for the pair's opposition to the bill introduced by Arizona state Sen. Kelly Townsend, which had over 34 serious election integrity and security provisions. Ugenti-Rita led the charge alongside Democrats claiming the legislation was ominous and "half-baked."
Trump also issued a news release Thursday criticizing Boyer who he called "a RINO if there ever was one" and "nothing but trouble" for doing "everything in his power to hold up the damning Forensic Audit of Maricopa County."
"All we demand is Voter Integrity!" the former president wrote, noting that Boyer is being "primaried" by former Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern.
"I've been on the frontlines of the battle for election integrity for the last 10 years," Ugenti-Rita defended herself, arguing in response to Trump's speech Saturday night. "What I won't do is vote for 'show' legislation that does nothing to strengthen election integrity and introduced for self serving reasons."
She said the election system is under "constant assault by the left" but she won't support bills that she said fail to strengthen the election system. "The same holds true for the audit. I supported the audit, but I do not support the Trump audit any longer," Ugenti-Rita tweeted, calling the audit "botched."
Ugenti-Rita lambasted the "total lack of competence by Fann over the last five months that she said has "deprived the voters of Arizona a comprehensive accounting of the 2020 election."
"What's that saying about throwing away the shovel when you're in a hole? Don't think crowd that booed [Ugenti] off Trump rally stage wants to hear part about 'botched' audit," Resnik replied, doubting the approach.