SAN DIEGO (AP) — Bre Payton, a writer for the conservative news site The Federalist and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel and other media outlets, died suddenly Friday at the age of 26.
The Federalist and a friend, Morgan Murtaugh, confirmed Payton’s death in San Diego.
Murtaugh tweeted that she found her friend unconscious on Thursday morning and doctors determined Payton had H1N1 flu — also known as swine flu — and meningitis.
Thank you everyone for your prayers. It is with a heavy heart that I type this. Unfortunately Bre has passed. Please send prayers to her family. Rest in paradise you beautiful soul. https://t.co/pMFCZNaqKl
— Morgan Murtaugh (@morganmurtaugh) December 28, 2018
Bre Payton, our beloved staff writer for The Federalist, passed away on Friday in San Diego, California following a sudden illness. https://t.co/dM562WdTg8
— The Federalist (@FDRLST) December 29, 2018
In recent appearances on Fox News, Payton had condemned what she called “fake news” media coverage of President Donald Trump and “sexist and bigoted” coverage of first lady Melania Trump.
An obituary in The Federalist called Payton “joyful, hard-working, and compassionate.” It said she had a deep Christian faith.
In a tweet, Meghan McCain, daughter of late Sen. John McCain, called Payton “a wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman.”
Ben and I are absolutely gutted and horrified by this news. Our prayers for @Bre_payton and her family. We are less without her – in every possible way. A wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman. Sending prayers to all of her family and friends during this darkness. https://t.co/K5nfRiB7gy
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) December 28, 2018
The Federalist said Payton received a journalism degree in 2015 from Patrick Henry College in Virginia and joined The Federalist that April. She later appeared as a guest commentator on the Fox News Channel and One America News Network.
— PatrickHenryCollege (@patrickhenrycol) December 30, 2018
Payton was survived by her parents, George and Cindy; siblings James, Jack, Christina and Cheekie; and boyfriend Ryan Colby, according to The Federalist.