OC Deputy DA, vocal critic of vaccine mandates, dies of COVID-19

Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby has died of COVID-19, according to Ben Chapman, Chairman of the Greater Costa Mesa Republicans. Ernby was an outspoken critic of COVID-19 vaccine mandates on a number of occasions. 

"The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is utterly heartbroken by the sudden and unexpected passing of Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby," District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement Monday. "Kelly was an incredible, 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."

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According to Spitzer, Ernby joined the DA's office in 2011. Ernby also led an unsuccessful campaign for the California State Assembly's 74th District seat in 2020. She was reportedly gearing up for another run this year.

Ernby spoke out against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and California's COVID-related state of emergency on social media multiple times. She was 46 years old.

Chapman posted a photo of himself and Enbry on Twitter, writing, "My heart is broken and I'm in tears. I lost a dear friend to Covid complications. I love you @KellyErnby ! You’ve been nothing but an inspiration to many of us here in Orange County."

"It was an absolute privilege to fight the good fight alongside Kelly," Spitzer said. "Her passion and her shining light will be forever missed."

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