Hawaii State Rep. Cynthia Thielen posted on her blog Tuesday that she will not run for re-election in 2020.

“I am deeply grateful for the 30 years of support from my District,” she wrote. “After this long term of service, though, it’s time to move on.”

Thielen, a moderate Republican who has represented Kailua and Kaneohe Bay since 1990, is perhaps best known for her advocacy of industrial hemp.

Rep Cynthia Thielen makes a point in mtg about Ocean Marine Environmental Prisons. Chair Rep Lee talking about EIS on Halawa prison construction site.

Rep. Cynthia Thielen on the job at the Capitol in 2016.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

But she has also been an outspoken leader on environmental and women’s issue and renewable energy, to name just three broad categories of interest.

Thielen, mother of state Sen. Laura Thielen, a Democrat, also has a record of working with Democrats. She is expected to formally announce her retirement from the House on Wednesday.

Cynthia Thielen often spoke of her admiration for Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican president known for his strong advocacy of the environment.

President Dwight Eisenhower was also a hero, admired for his strong leadership that earned him respect from both sides of the aisle — a quality that has faded in recent years as partisanship has dominated the political scene.

It is a scene where Thielen’s absence will be notable. But she said it was time to say “mahalo and aloha.”

“While I’m still fiercely advocating for our District at my strategic and mental peaks, and thankfully have a clean bill of health, I believe our District needs someone who will be 100% actively meeting with and representing them 24/7 for years to come,” she wrote on her blog. “At age 86, that is something I no longer feel able to do.”

Before you go

Civil Beat readership has more than doubled in the past nine months. That’s incredible growth for which we’re so grateful.

But for a small nonprofit newsroom that provides free content with no paywall, readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism. The truth is that less than 1% of our monthly readers are financial supporters.

To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider becoming a new donor today?

About the Author