Throughout his years in the Delaware State Senate, Colin Bonini has continuously rejected the “go along to get along” political culture in Dover. Indeed, he’s refused to support a single bloated state budget during his tenure.
Colin’s energy, common sense conservatism and willingness to stand up against the big government politicians haven’t gone unnoticed. Over the years he’s been honored by groups ranging from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award) and the Kent County Republican Party (Legislator of the Year) to the Food Bank of Delaware (Legislator of the Year for his work to help Delawareans fight hunger).
Beating the political odds is nothing new to Colin. Becoming the youngest member of the Delaware Senate when he was elected at the age of 29, Bonini was called “the longest shot in the State of Delaware” by members of the media before his upset victory.
Colin’s intelligence, obvious sincerity, affability, and a real concern for people and the challenges they face have helped Colin be reelected seven times in his predominantly Democrat State Senate District. Senator Bonini was the Republican Party’s nominee for State Treasurer in 2010 losing by a few thousand votes and garnering 49 percent of the vote. In 2016 Colin was the party’s nominee for Governor (after receiving 70 percent of the vote in the primary election) and received over 20,000 more votes than the Republican nominee in the previous election.
Colin grew up in Stanford, California, the son of Dr. Charles P. Bonini, Professor of Decision Sciences, emeritus, and a former Dean at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, (The Economic Modeling theory “The BoninI Paradox” is named after Dr. Bonini) and Dr. Cissie Rafferty, a Professor of Renaissance History. The sixth of seven children, Colin is an identical twin. His twin brother, Griffin (older by four minutes), is a Superior Court Judge in San Jose, California.
Colin came to Delaware to attend Wesley College. While there, Colin was a Dean’s List student, was elected President of his Senior Class and lettered in three varsity sports (football, basketball and tennis). Colin also worked for U.S. Senator Bill Roth and spent three months working for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India. He graduated from Wesley in three years with a Bachelors of Arts degree. Colin is the owner and principal of Alliance Associates LLC, a successful business development and frontline customer service firm.
Colin met the love of his life, Dr. Melissa A. Harrington, on an airplane in 1997. Dr. Harrington received her PhD in Neuroscience from Stanford University and is a full professor of Biology and Associate Vice President of Research at Delaware State University. She is also Director of The Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research that includes faculty at both Delaware State University and the University of Delaware. Colin and Melissa were married in 2001, and reside on their ten-acre horse farm, “Black Dog Farm”, with their newly adopted dog Maggie, and three cats: Boo-Boo, Lucky and Rambo. Black Dog Farm is just north of Magnolia.