Kelly Ernby, who served as Orange County’s Deputy DA for over a decade and was a prominent critic of Covid-19 vaccine mandates, has died from complications due to Covid-19. According to her husband, she was not vaccinated.

Ben Chapman, chair of the Greater Costa Mesa Republicans, said Ernby was “nothing but an inspiration here in Orange County,” in a tweet Monday, as well as saying he lost a dear friend.

One of her co-workers, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, wrote that Ernby’s “passion and her shining light will forever be missed.”

Ernby ran for California’s 74th Assembly District seat in 2020, situating herself as a “pro-business, pro-taxpayer, political outsider,” but lost in the March 2020 primary to Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon.

Ernby was expected to run for another Assembly seat in 2022, and would have potentially run against Dixon again.

Along with the fact that she was not vaccinated before her death, Ernby was also vocally critical of Covid-19 vaccine mandates. She attended a December 4 rally in Irvine against vaccine mandates, and she referred to the mandates as “socialist ideals,” at the event.

Ernby is survived by husband Axel Mattias Ernby.

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