An outspoken GOP activist and deputy district attorney from California who vehemently opposed vaccine mandates has died of COVID at age 44.
Kelly Ernby, a Republican activist who lived in Huntington Beach, had worked at the Orange County DA’s Office since 2011.
In December, she spoke out against coronavirus vaccine mandates at a Turning Point USA rally at Irvine City Hall.
“There’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now,” Ernby said, according to the Daily Titan, a student newspaper that covered the event.
She was memorialized online Monday by friends and colleagues who confirmed her recent death, adding that it was from COVID-19.
“Rest In Peace Kelly Ernby. What a passionate and devoted conservative…She was in her 40’s – too young. Yeah, she had COVID,” wrote Jon Fleischman, former executive director of the California Republican Party and publisher of FlashReport, on Twitter.
Ben Chapman, chairman of the Greater Costa Mesa County Republicans, said she died of “covid complications” and called her “nothing but an inspiration to many of us here in Orange County.”
Orange County DA Todd Spitzer said on Facebook that his office is “utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby.”
Ernby ran for a state assembly seat two years ago, losing in the Republican primary, and was widely expected to try for the seat a second time in 2022.
She also spoke out against vaccinations on the campaign trail in 2019, saying, “I don’t think that the government should be involved in mandating what vaccines people are taking,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I think that’s a decision between doctors and their patients,” Ernby said. “If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?”
It was unclear if she had been vaccinated.
Ernby is survived by her husband, Axel, the newspaper reported.