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Bre Payton, popular conservative pundit, dead at 26

Written By | Jan 3, 2019
Bre Payton

The late Bre Payton during an appearance on a Fox News segment. (Screen capture, YouTube video, Fox News)

SAN DIEGO, Calif.  Federalist writer and political pundit Bre Payton, passed away on Friday, December 28, 2018 in San Diego due to a sudden illness. The 26-year-old was a regular guest on Fox News and other outlets. According to The Wrap — which incorrectly characterized the Federalist as a “right-wing website” — Bre Payton’s friend, young California politician and One America News Network (OANN) journalist Morgan Murtaugh, found the 26-year-old Payton unconscious in her room Thursday morning. She was rushed to a San Diego hospital for emergency treatment.

Murtaugh later reported news of Payton’s death on Twitter, offering consolation to her friend’s family and friends.

Morgan Murtaugh announced on Twitter, the passing of her friend.

The cause: Flu, meningitis, or both?

Several sources confirm that the hospital admitted Payton last Thursday after after Murtaugh discovered her unconscious and barely breathing in her apartment. Reportedly, hospital tests revealed that Payton had contracted the H1N1 flu virus leading to a possible case of meningitis. The coroner’s office has not yet confirmed a cause of death, but her family believes it was because of H1N1. Prior to her death, she had been in a coma and had been in the ICU unit since she was rushed to the hospital.

An appreciation of Bre Payton

The Federalist published a brief appreciation of Payton’s life and career last Friday after receiving news of her passing.

“Bre was born in California on June 8, 1992, to George and Cindy Payton.

“She received her high school diploma from the Western Christian High School Private Satellite Program. She graduated from Patrick Henry College in 2015 with a degree in journalism.

“Bre joined The Federalist in April of 2015. In the space of just a few years, she became a rising star on cable news, regularly featured as political commentator on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, and OANN.

“Bre brightened the lives of everyone around her. She was joyful, hard-working, and compassionate, and she leaves behind friends and colleagues for whom she brought nothing but sweetness and light.

“Though we are heartbroken and devastated by Bre’s death, we are comforted in the knowledge that she was a woman who lived a life marked by deep Christian faith, trusting in her Savior, Jesus Christ – in the God who promises the way our story ends is that ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more.'”

“Bre is survived by her parents, George and Cindy; siblings James, Jack, Christina, and Cheekie; and boyfriend Ryan Colby.”

More condolences

Fox News, where Payton often appeared, also expressed shock and sorrow at Bre Payton’s sudden passing.

“‘I cannot believe this. @Bre_payton was such a beautiful light, smart and funny and kind and talented,’ Fox News anchor Shannon Bream tweeted. ‘Please pray for her broken hearted loved ones, who are undoubtedly reeling. She was far too young.’

“According to her biography at The Federalist, Payton wrote stories on ‘subjects ranging from Kanye West to Supreme Court rulings, to 2016 and breaking news.’ She previously worked as a reporter for”

Bre Payton: A biographical sketch

Bre Payton was based in Washington D.C. But she was in California last week guest hosting “Tipping Point with Liz Wheeler,” on the One America News Network (OANN). In addition to her appearances on Fox News, most recently on Your World with Neil Cavuto and Trish Regan Primetime, she had also appeared on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, BBC World News. Her articles appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and WORLD Magazine.

As her career continued to grow, Bre Payton was fast becoming a youthful beacon and leading light in the conservative media. Dozens of shocked pundits and journalists offered their support and prayers in memory of her passing. Among them was her boss, Federalist publisher Ben Domenech.

Meghan McCain also sent her condolences saying “A wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman. Sending prayers to all of her family and friends during this darkness.”

— Terry Ponick contributed to this article.

— Headline image: The late Bre Payton during an appearance on a Fox News segment.
(Screen capture, YouTube video, Fox News)



Larry Lease

Lawrence Lease is a conservative commentator taking aim at all aspects of governmental domestic and foreign policy. Lease previously served as a volunteer with the human-rights organization International Justice Mission in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Follow Lease on Twitter, Facebook, and soon Blog Talk Radio.