Orange County Deputy DA and Rising GOP Star Kelly Ernby Dies of COVID-19
Orange County Deputy District Attorney and former GOP state Assembly candidate Kelly Ernby has died from complications of COVID-19. She was just 46 years old.
”The Orange County district attorney’s office is utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy Dist. Atty. Kelly Ernby,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Kelly was an incredibly vibrant and passionate attorney who cared deeply about the work that we do as prosecutors — and deeply about the community we all fight so hard to protect.”
Ernby had served as a prosecutor with the DA’s office for 10 years. In 2020, she ran for Assembly District 74. Ernby picked up key endorsements from former Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter, Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner, former Assemblyman Jim Silva, and Mission Viejo Councilman Greg Raths while challenging Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon in the primary. Ernby lost that race but went on to become an elected Orange County GOP central committee member. According to longtime GOP activist and friend Jon Fleischman, Ernby was preparing for another Assembly run.
Ernby was a committed Republican and a stalwart opponent of mask and vaccine mandates. On Dec. 4, shortly before she became ill, Ernby attended an anti-vaccine rally hosted by Turning Point USA. Social media posts reveal she was not only opposed to mandates, but was a skeptic of COVID-19 vaccine safety and efficacy.
Since her death, Ernby’s Facebook page has become a toxic battleground between anti-vaccine and pro-vaccine forces. Some reacted gleefully to Ernby’s death, while others falsely claimed she was killed by the vaccine. Her husband Mattias Ernby has confirmed that she was not vaccinated. In a Facebook comment, he asked people to "stoping spreading lies" about his wife.