Orange County

Orange County Deputy DA Kelly Ernby Dies From Complications of COVID at Age 46

Kelly Ernby was widely expected to run again for California state office in 2022.

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Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby, a political hopeful who ran for state Assembly as a Republican, has died at age 46 of complications of COVID-19, a county supervisor confirmed.

Ernby died Sunday.

Don Wagner, an Orange County supervisor, who confirmed how she died, said she was was "a breath of fresh air interested in politics."

To Orange County Republicans, Kelly Ernby was called an incredible patriot, a leader.

This was her first run as a political neophyte hoping to win the 74th California Assembly seat. She lost the race but won a spot on the GOP Central Committee.

"Kelly as a person was a breath of fresh air interested in politics," said Don Wagner, an Orange County supervisor.

She went on the record then in favor of the governor's recall and against vaccine mandates.


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One month ago Wagner says Ernby asked him to join her at a weekend rally outside Irvine City Hall.

According to the Cal State Fullerton Daily Titan, the event was organized by a conservative college group called Turning Point, about 40 people showed up. The 46-year old woman spoke out against government mandated vaccines.

Wagner says he has been vaccinated but he doesn't know if Ernby did he same. He does know her politics.

"I never heard Kelly say, 'Don't get a vaccine,'" he said. "Everything I heard was, 'Make an informed decision. It is your decision to make.'"

The most recent post on her Facebook page was on Christmas day. Most of her writings dealt with government, politics and veterans.

Her boss, OC District Attorney Todd Spitzer tweeted his office is heartbroken by her sudden and unexpected passing. Ernby prosecuted environmental and consumer crimes.

"It's very sad. I've known her for several years."

Ernby died of complications due to COVID-19 but Wagner says she was home when it happened.

She was gardening, a blood clot took her life. She was not in the hospital suffering from COVID, he said.

The head of the local GOP says she was a woman with a fighting spirit, someone who cared about people.

She was widely expected to run again for state office in 2022.

Ernby is survived by her husband, Axel.

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