Conservative writer Bre Payton dies suddenly in San Diego at 26

SAN DIEGO — A writer for The Federalist news site and frequent Fox News guest died in San Diego Friday after what was described as a sudden illness.

Bre Payton, 26, worked for The Federalist since April 2015. According to the news site, she appeared as a political commentator on the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel and One America News Network.

The Federalist didn’t specify what the illness was, but according to a post on the Caring Bridge website, she was found unconscious by a friend Thursday morning and taken to a hospital, where doctors determined she had “the H1N1 flu and possibly meningitis.”

Payton, who according to her Twitter account is based in Washington, D.C., was in California to serve as a guest host on One America News. She tweeted Wednesday night that she was filling in for Liz Wheeler on “Tipping Point” and urged her followers to tune in. She was found the next morning.

Former Republican congressional candidate Morgan Murtaugh tweeted Friday that she was the one who found Payton. Murtaugh unsuccessfully ran against Rep. Susan Davis for her seat in California’s 53rd Congressional District in November.

Around 11:30 a.m., about four hours after her first tweet, Murtaugh tweeted that Payton had died.

“Unfortunately Bre has passed,” Murtaugh wrote. “Please send prayers to her family. Rest in paradise you beautiful soul.”

Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, also tweeted about Payton’s passing.

“We are devastated,” he said. “Last we saw her, she was her funny, smart, vivacious self. Now lost to us so suddenly.”

According to The Federalist, Payton was a California native who graduated from Western Christian High School in Upland and from Patrick Henry College in Virginia in 2015 with a degree in journalism.

She is survived by her parents, four siblings and boyfriend, according to the website.

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