An outspoken GOP activist and assistant district attorney from California who vehemently opposed vaccine mandates has died of COVID at the age of 44.
Kelly Ernby, a Republican activist who lived in Huntington Beach, worked in the Orange County Attorney’s office since 2011.
In December, she spoke out against coronavirus vaccine mandates at a Turning Point USA rally at Irvine City Hall.
“Right now, nothing is more important than our freedoms,” said Ernby, according to Daily Titan, a student newspaper that covered the event.
She was commemorated online Monday by friends and colleagues who confirmed her recent death, adding that it was COVID-19.
“Rest in peace Kelly Ernby. What a passionate and devoted conservative … She was in her 40s – too young. Yes, she had COVID, ”Jon Fleischman, former California Republican Party executive and editor of FlashReport, wrote on Twitter.
Ben Chapman, president of the Greater Costa Mesa County Republicans, said she died of “covid complications” and called her “nothing more than an inspiration to many of us here in Orange County.”
Orange County Attorney Todd Spitzer said on Facebook that his office “is utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected death of Assistant District Attorney Kelly Ernby.”
Ernby ran for a seat in the US state parliament two years ago, lost in the Republican primary and was widely expected to fight for the seat a second time in 2022.
She also spoke out against campaigning vaccinations in 2019, saying, “I don’t think the government should be involved in making people vaccinate,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I think this is a decision between doctors and their patients,” said Ernby. “If the government is going to prescribe vaccines, what else will they prescribe?”
It was unclear whether she was vaccinated.
Ernby is survived by her husband Axel, the newspaper reported.