Councilmember Henry Nickel and Candidate Ben Reynoso face off in San Bernardino 5th Ward debate

Courtesy photos: Incumbent Henry Nickel (right) and candidate Ben Reynoso encourage the public to visit their websites at and To view the complete debate, visit
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On October 2, City of San Bernardino 5th Ward Councilmember Henry Nickel and 5th Ward candidate Ben Reynoso participated in the League of Women Voters San Bernardino City Election 2020 Fifth Ward Debate.

The civil debate covered topics such as crime, homelessness, public safety, small business struggles, code of conduct, fire and flooding, and more.

“I was born, raised and educated in San Bernardino. I’m a homeowner in this city and I am employed in the city of San Bernardino. With that being said, I bring an array of experience to the job that lends to an ability to understand some of the significant challenges and solutions that are available to us,” said Nickel.

Nickel has been the 5th Ward councilman since 2014, he joined the council when the city was bankrupt and had zero reserves; since then, the city has recovered from bankruptcy.

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“I entered this race as a community organizer, just as I entered the city of San Bernardino when I was 15 years old. I am deeply concerned about the culture of San Bernardino because a lot of the things I saw as a high school student still prevail. There’s an extreme lack of inclusion, that almost feels intentional,” said Reynoso.

“As an organizer I need to see the documentation, I need to expose some of the things that are happening when it comes to development culture, I need people to know what kind of revenue our city is receiving from these deals. The only culture that I offer San Bernardino is the truth,” continued Reynoso.

Reynoso earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and currently studies at Loyola Marymount University, where he will earn a master’s degree in education.

During the debate both candidates were asked what they would do if the mayor or councilmembers were not in compliance, affecting economic growth?

“In 2016, the voters approved a new city charter and it mandates a code of conduct. It requires councilmembers to adhere and mutually enforce that. In recent meetings we have seen deterioration of decorum. It’s important that as council members we exercise good judgement and temperament. We have a tough job, but that does not mean we should engage in uncivil behavior on that dais,” shared Nickel.

When asked the same question, Reynoso answered, “Code of conduct should be unspoken. You need rules like this because you have seen the circus that has become our city council. You have members on the board who do not know how to stop talking and continuously bark at each other. I know how to work with people and the reality is that the council looks how it does because business is not being handled in the closed session right before the public meeting. I’m not the dictator,” shared Reynoso.

Nickel and Reynoso encourage the public to visit their websites at and

To view the complete debate, visit

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