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.”

This news can't wait.

Every day, journalists in nonprofit newsrooms like Civil Beat dig deeper into the raw news of the day to deliver in-depth and investigative reporting that engages communities, advances solutions, and demands accountability. This news can’t wait. So why would you?

Give today and NewsMatch will double the impact of your donation. We’ll even throw in a limited-edition Civil Beat t-shirt!

About the Author