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Rising CA Republican star who slammed COVID vaccines dies after testing positive for the virus

A California deputy district attorney and rising Republican star who slammed vaccine mandates a month ago at a Turning Point USA rally has died from complications of the virus. 

Kelly Ernby died this week after testing positive for COVID. The 46-year-old was a strong vocal opponent of vaccine mandates. It is unclear whether or not she was vaccinated. 

News of her death broke on Monday as tributes from friends and colleagues began pouring out on social media. 

Nearly a month before her passing, she spoke at a rally against COVID vaccine mandates at the Irvine City Hall. The event on December 4 was hosted by the Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine chapters of the conservative group Turning Point USA. 

She had been an outspoken critic of vaccine mandates since 2019 when she spoke against a new state law proposing new vaccine requirements for schoolchildren. 

California deputy district attorney and rising Republican stare Kelly Ernby, 46, died from complications of COVID this week

Ernby was a strong vocal opponent of vaccine mandates. Her vaccination status is unclear

Ernby was a strong vocal opponent of vaccine mandates. Her vaccination status is unclear

‘There’s nothing that matters more than our freedoms right now,’ she said, according to the Daily Titan. Ernby urged the mid-sized crowd to unite and fight for their beliefs.  

‘Our government for the people and by the people is not going to exist without action of the people,’ Ernby said. 

The Huntington Beach resident worked as an Orange County deputy district attorney for 10 years specializing on in environmental and consumer law. 

She first joined local politics in 2020 when she ran for state Assembly in the 74th District challenging Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon, a fellow Republican, to replace Cottie Petrie-Norris, the freshman Democratic incumbent. 

The self-proclaimed political outsider earned endorsements from several local politicians but lost in a close race. She continued to search for her spot in politics getting involved in the county Republican Party as the precinct chairman. 

Ernby became an elected Orange County GOP central committee member later in 2020. She was midway into the four-year term at the time of her passing. 

The 46-year-old fought against vaccine mandates even before the COVID pandemic dragged the issue into the national spotlight. 

In 2019, Ernby appeared in an online town hall to discuss her stance on medical freedom. She firmly opposed a new state law that proposed tightening immunization rules for California schoolchildren. 

‘My fundamental belief is that government should be very small and I don’t believe in mandates,’ she said on November 3, 2019. 

‘I don’t think that the government should be involved in mandating what vaccines people are taking,’ she explained. ‘I think that’s a decision between doctors and their patients…. If the government is going to mandate vaccines, what else are they going to mandate?’ 

Ernby’s death was confirmed as friends and colleagues began sharing social media posts expressing their grief. 

Kelly Ernby is survived by her husband Axel and their dog Nixon (pictured)

Kelly Ernby is survived by her husband Axel and their dog Nixon (pictured)

‘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

He was shocked by her ‘sudden’ passing and explained that the two planned to meet later this week to discuss another state Assembly run. 

‘I found her to be funny and generous,’ he said. ‘She quickly became part of the fabric of our party. We’re really going to miss her. It’s very sad.’ 

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer expressed his sorrow in a statement: ‘The Orange County district attorney’s office is utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy Dist. Atty. Kelly Ernby.’ 

‘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.’   

He also remembered his ‘incredibly vibrant and passionate’ colleague in a touching Twitter thread.  

Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner also memorialized his colleague online. ‘Kelly was an outstanding public servant and an even better person,’ he said on Twitter.

Ernby is survived by her dog and husband, Axel, and her dog Nixon. Axel is self- employed as a management consultant in Huntington Beach. 




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