Colin Bonini

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Colin Bonini
Colin Bonini.jpg
Member of the Delaware Senate
from the 16th district
Assumed office
January 10, 1995
Personal details
Born Colin Rafferty Marie Jude

(1965-04-14) April 14, 1965 (age 53)
Stanford, California, U.S.
Political party Republican
Melissa Harrington (m. 2001)
Education Wesley College, Delaware (BA)

Colin Rafferty Marie Jude Bonini (born April 14, 1965) is an American politician from Kent County, near Dover, Delaware. He is a member of the Republican Party and serves in the Delaware General Assembly as State Senator for the 16th State Senate District.

Early life and family[edit]

Born April 14, 1965, Bonini is the son of Stanford University Emeritus Professor of Business Charles Bonini and Dr. Cissie Bonini Rafferty, a professor of history. He has six siblings, including an identical twin brother Griffin Bonini, who is a Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County, California.

Bonini received his B.A. from Wesley College in 1991. While in school, he worked for Bill Roth[disambiguation needed] and the U.S. State Department in New Delhi, India. He married Dr. Melissa A. Harrington, a full professor of biology at Delaware State University, in 2001 and they live at Moores Lake just south of Dover.

Political career[edit]

State senate[edit]

Bonini with Wilmington Blue Rocks' mascot Rocky Bluewinkle

The 16th State Senate District is a sprawling suburban, rural and small town section of southern and eastern Kent County along with a small portion of adjacent Sussex County. It includes the southern portions of Dover around the Dover Air Force Base, the towns of Frederica and Harrington, but carefully excludes the incorporated portions of the town of Milford. Bonini has represented the 16th Senate District in the Delaware State Senate since 1995.

In the 147th General Assembly, Bonini served on the following committees:

  • Adult & Juvenile Corrections
  • Bond (Joint Committee)
  • Insurance
  • Highways & Transportation
  • Banking

2010 state treasurer campaign[edit]

In 2010, he unsuccessfully ran for state treasurer, losing to Democrat Chipman L. Flowers, Jr. in a tight race.

Flowers, an attorney, received 51 percent of the vote on Nov. 2 and defeated Bonini by 6,121 votes. Besides R. Thomas Wagner, the incumbent state auditor since 1989, Bonini received the most votes of any Republican in the 2010 elections in Delaware. Flowers would go on to serve just one term as treasurer, after being dogged by controversy through his term in office over his use of office credit cards and travel spending and his clashes with Governor Markell and the state Cash Management Policy Board.[1][2]

2016 gubernatorial campaign[edit]

Bonini announced he would run for governor shortly after the 2014 elections.[3] He stated that his campaign would focus on fixing the state's "significant systemic and fundamental problems." Although facing a significant obstacle as a Republican running statewide in the heavily Democratic state, Bonini said, "I am in it to win it. Delawareans deserve an election, not a coronation."[4]

Bonini competed with former state trooper Lacey Lafferty in the Republican primary election, which he won handily. He lost to U.S. Congressman John Carney Jr. in the general election, garnering 40% of the vote.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Bonini was presented with the “Guardian of Small Business Award” by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Republican Party of Kent County. In 2014, he earned a “Legislator of the Year” award from the Food Bank of Delaware for his work to alleviate hunger in Delaware.


  1. ^ "Flowers to finish term, leave Delaware". Delaware Online. August 15, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  2. ^ "Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers withdraws from election (video)". News Works. August 15, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jeff Cragg
Republican nominee for Governor of Delaware
Most recent