Michelle Ugenti

Incumbent Senator

In 2009, the country was in a deep recession with record high unemployment and unprecedented levels of government borrowing, a stimulus package enacted to spur economic growth, the swine flu infecting thousands and a migration crisis growing at our southern border. The presidency was held by a Democrat and both chambers of the United States Congress were Democratic controlled. As the country, at all levels, worked to confront these issues the political discourse was dominated by unfounded accusations of racism leveled by Democrats toward Republicans. Sadly, the Democrats are once again resorting to their same old playbook. However, this time over the most fundamental right that exists in this country – elections.

Having been personally impacted by the effects of the downturn in the economy and beginning to raise a family, I sharpened my focus on the issues and decisions being made that were shaping my community, state and country. That summer, with one of my brothers, I attended a political rally at the Capitol in downtown Phoenix. After seeing hundreds of people, of all ages, come out in the 100 plus degree temperature to make their voices heard I was inspired to become more involved in impacting the direction of my state. Shortly thereafter I entered the race for the Arizona House of Representatives.

I spent the next year and a half attending any meeting or function I could find to speak with people to listen to them voice their concerns and ideas. From those interactions I developed the foundation and positions of my candidacy. In my first race, there were four men and two women. Unfortunately, as a woman not even 30 years old, I was dismissed and criticized as too inexperienced and not ready for the job. However, I was not deterred by the unfounded and often too personal criticisms and stayed the course of standing up for what I believed was right. Thankfully the voters responded to my message and have in each race since then.

In addition to serving in the legislature for the last 11 years, I am a mother of three children plus a fur baby Pomeranian named Wolfie and a native and resident of Scottsdale. My mother is Norwegian born, my father is a second generation Italian and I have four siblings. I have worked as a commercial real estate agent and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from the W.P. Carey School of Business. In addition to working my way through college I played rugby for the ASU Women’s Rugby Club team.