Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Ernby, 46, who ran for California State Assembly in 2020, has died, it was reported Jan. 3.
The Huntington Beach resident’s passing was met with condolences from her colleagues.
“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,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer wrote on Twitter.
“It was an absolute privilege to fight the good fight alongside Kelly. Her passion and her shining light will be forever missed.”
Ernby joined the district attorney’s office in 2011, specializing in environmental and consumer law, according to Spitzer.
“Thanks for always standing up for victims of crime and fighting the good fight balancing the scales of justice and for always making our communities and public safety a priority,” Patricia Wenskunas, founder of Crime Survivors Inc., a crime victim advocacy group, wrote on Twitter.
The Lincoln Club of Orange County, a conservative organization dedicated to limiting government according to its LinkedIn page, also expressed condolences for Ernby.
“Today, we have been informed that Kelly Ernby, local candidate and passionate conservative activist with [the Orange County Republican Party] has passed away. As of now, we are still getting more details but want to express our prayers for her family, friends and loved ones during this time.”
Brian Burley, a Republican candidate for Congress in California District 47, said he was heartbroken to hear the news.
“Kelly and I spent a lot of time together on the campaign trail in 2020. She was one of the few people in politics that always came across as real, authentic, caring and passionate,” Burley wrote on Twitter.
Ben Chapman, chair of the Greater Costa Mesa Republicans, claimed Ernby’s death was due to COVID-19 complications.
“My heart is broken and I’m in tears. I lost a dear friend to Covid complications,” Chapman wrote on Twitter. “You’ve been nothing but an inspiration to many of us here in Orange County.”
Ernby received a bachelor’s degree in biological science from University of California–Santa Barbara in 1997. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2002, according to her LinkedIn page.
Ernby received a master’s degree in public administration from USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy in 2013.
Ernby is survived by her husband, Axel.