A California deputy district attorney and Republican star who slammed vaccine mandates a month ago has died after contracting Covid-19 a few days back. Kelly Ernby, Orange County Deputy District Attorney, who was also a rising Republican star, died age 46 from complications of the virus. She had opposed the vaccine mandate at a Turning Point USA rally last month.
Ernby died earlier this week but it is unclear if she was vaccinated or not. Her death was confirmed by the district attorney's office The Orange County Republicans, where Ernby had previously served as a precinct operations chair, said her death has caused them "great sadness."
Gone Too Soon
The Orange County Republicans said that Ernby died after a bout with a "brief illness." "The Orange County District Attorney's office is utterly heartbroken by the sudden an unexpected passing of Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby," District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement.
"Kelly was an incredibly vibrant and passionate attorney who care deeply about the work that we do as prosecutors - and deeply about the community we all fight so hard to protect."
Ernby had opposed the vaccine mandate lately and even slammed it vehemently last moth during a rally at the Irvine City Hall on December 4. The event was hosted by the Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine chapters of the conservative group Turning Point USA.
In fact, Ernby had been an outspoken critic of vaccine mandates since before the pandemic. She opposed all kinds of vaccine mandates and even railed against a state law proposing new vaccine requirements for schoolchildren in 2019.
"There's nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now," she had said opposing vaccine mandates. She urged everyone to get united and fight for their beliefs.
Following Ernby's death, Ben Chapman, chairman of the Greater Costa Mesa Republicans, tweeted on Monday, "My heart is broken and I'm in tears. I lost a dear friend to Covid complications. I love you @KellyErnby! You've been nothing but an inspiration to many of us here in Orange County."
Short but Illustrious Career
A Huntington Beach resident, Ernby worked as an Orange County deputy district attorney for 10 years and specialized in environmental and consumer law. Although she had a short political career, she rose to popularity for being outspoken.
In 2020, Ernby ran for the 74th District seat, which includes Irvine and Huntington Beach, though she was ultimately unsuccessful. She planned to run again in 2022. Although Ernby lost in a close race, the self-proclaimed political outsider had earned endorsements from several local politicians within a short span of time.
She continued to search for her spot in politics getting involved in the county Republican Party as the precinct chairman. Later in 2020, she was elected as an Orange County GOP central committee member. She was midway into the four-year term at the time of her death.
Ernby is survived by her husband, Axel who is self-employed as a management consultant in Huntington Beach. Axel did not immediately reply to DailyMail.com for a comment.
"She was very passionate about her love for politics, for America and the Republican Party," said Jon Fleischman, former executive director of the California Republican Party and a longtime Orange County GOP activist, according to the Los Angeles Times.