/ Last Modified August 28, 2013

Prescott Mayor Survives Election Challenge

He raised ire after saying city could not pay survivors' benefits for some of hotshot firefighters who died.

The mayor of an Arizona city that employed 19 fallen firefighters has survived a tougher-than-expected challenge to win a third term in office.

Marlin Kuykendall beat former city Councilwoman Lindsay Bell in Prescott's primary election.

Results from Tuesday evening show Kuykendall with 55 percent of the vote. He says he'll focus his next two years as mayor on improving the city's water supply and on infrastructure.

The 79-year-old overcame criticism of the city's handling of survivors' benefits for the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. He had angered residents and some of the firefighters' widows by saying it would be illegal for the city to extend full benefits to the families of the 13 seasonal workers.

The firefighters died June 30 while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire.

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