US political pundit Bre Payton, 26, dies suddenly

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bre Payton, a 26 year old U.S. writer for the conservative online magazine The Federalist, and recurring pundit on the Fox News, Fox Business and One America News networks, died suddenly on Friday in San Diego, California, after contracting H1N1 flu and encephalitis. Colleagues reacted with surprise to the death and recalled Payton's work ethic, Christian beliefs, and physical attractiveness. News of the death spread virally, becoming the sixth most trending topic in the United States on Google for the day.

Bre Payton publicity photo
Image: The Federalist.

According to an account on Caring Bridge, a day after she appeared on One America News on Wednesday, Payton was found unresponsive. She was hospitalized and admitted into the intensive care unit. After tests, doctors made the diagnoses. Her condition worsened until she died.

"We are devastated," tweeted The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, "Last we saw her, she was her funny, smart, vivacious self. Now lost to us so suddenly."

In a piece published yesterday, Domenech reflected on Payton's role as a young conservative woman and described her as "distractingly beautiful for the men of Washington D.C. [...] smarter than all of them, [and] would outwork them and outresearch them and outreport them".

Payton joined the The Federalist in April 2015 after graduating from Patrick Henry College. In addition to One America News, she appeared on the Fox shows Your World with Neil Cavuto, Trish Regan Primetime, Fox & Friends, and Fox News @ Night.

"I cannot believe this," tweeted Fox News @ Night host Shannon Bream, "[Payton] was such a beautiful light, smart and funny and kind and talented[...] Please pray for her broken hearted loved ones, who are undoubtedly reeling. She was far too young."

Payton is survived by four siblings and her parents who have started a scholarship fund in her name to benefit "young, rising, Christian leaders."


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