Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby, a California Republican activist who opposed coronavirus vaccine mandates, has died at the age of 46 from COVID-19, according to multiple media outlets.
Her boss, District Attorney Todd Spitzer, announced Erby’s death on Facebook on Monday.
“The Orange County district attorney’s office is utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy Dist. Atty. Kelly Ernby,” wrote Spitzer. “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.”
California Republicans paid tribute to Ernby on Twitter.
Jon Fleischman, former executive director of the California Republican Party, hailed her “love for politics, for America and the Republican Party.” He added: “Yeah, she had COVID.”
Ben Chapman, chair of the Greater Costa Mesa Republicans, praised Ernby as “an inspiration,” and confirmed she died from “Covid complications.”
In December, she spoke against vaccine mandates at a rally organized by right-wing student group Turning Post USA, reportedly telling protesters that “there’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now.”