First Greek-American Elected to Delaware State Senate

Newly-elected Delaware State Senator Spiros Mantzavinos and family. Credit: Spiros Mantavinos for State Senate campaign

Another milestone in Greek-American history was passed last Tuesday as Spiros Mantzavinos of Wilmington, Delaware was chosen by voters to represent them in the Delaware State Senate. He will become the only Greek-American in the entire Assembly of the state.

Running on a platform that included the creation of economic opportunity for everyone, protecting health care, and preserving the environment., Mantzavinos now has the distinction of being the first ever Greek-American to represent his constituency in the Senate of his home state.

Delaware State Senator Spiros Mantzavinos. Credit: Spiros Mantzavinos for State Senate campaign.

“It’s an incredible honor to have the opportunity to represent the hard-working families of the 7th State Senate District in Dover,” Mantzavinos said to the press after the election.

“I’m deeply grateful for the support I received from so many Greek-Americans from around the country. Candidates alone don’t win elections – campaigns do. Everyone who donated their time, talent and hard-earned money was an integral part of our campaign.”

The small business owner has run his own successful business for many years. The Mantzavinos Group is a public relations firm which has clients including a wide variety of local businesses, non-profits and organized labor entities.

Taking a leave of absence from his business last year to serve in the State Auditor’s office, he had first begun his career working as a legislative aide to the Delaware State Senate Majority Caucus, helping elect Democrats to local offices.

Mantzavinos is also an adjunct instructor at Wilmington University, teaching courses in Health Care Policy, Crisis Communication, and Strategic Communications.

Before starting up his own PR firm, the newly-elected state senator worked for a variety of different Delaware businesses including Christiana Care Health System, the American Heart Association, the Delaware City Refinery, and the Newcastle County Chamber of Commerce.

All of these professional experiences, he states, helped shaped his views on how best to fight for Delaware’s middle class. He is focused on addressing rising health care costs, stagnant wages, the struggles many face in caring for aging family members, and making sure the next generation gets the right education so they can succeed in the future.

Mantzavinos is is currently serving as a member of the Parish Council at his church, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and also is a youth group advisor and former Sunday School teacher there.

He has also appeared as a guest commentator on WHYY-TV’s First segment “State of Play,” is a past president of the Public Relations Society of America, Delaware Chapter, a past treasurer of the Delaware Press Association, and a former board member of the Claymont Community Center.

Mantzavinos earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Muhlenberg College and his master’s degree from the University of Delaware.

A grandson of Greek immigrants who came from from Cephalonia, he has promoted Hellenic causes as well, introducing Senate Foreign Relations Committee Member Senator Chris Coons to Greek-American leaders who were attending the 35th Annual Hellenic Leadership Conference in Washington, DC.

Mantzavinos is a member of the American Hellenic Institute and is a past president of his local chapter of AHEPA. The new Senator and his family, including his wife and two daughters, live in Westgate Farms, Delaware.