Windward Oahu representative announces plan to run for state Senate

File photo of state Rep. Chris Lee.
File photo of state Rep. Chris Lee.(Hawaii News Now/file)
Updated: Jan. 8, 2020 at 7:37 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Windward Oahu representative plans to vacate his seat in order to run for state Senate.

In a video posted on Facebook, state Rep. Chris Lee, D-Kailua, Lanikai, Waimanalo, announced he’s running to replace Democratic state Sen. Laura Thielen.

“With our state senator retiring this year, I will be humbly asking for your support to step up and serve our community in the state Senate to expand the work that we are doing to build a better future here for our next generation,” Lee wrote in the post.

Thielen — who has represented Windward and East Oahu since 2013 — has chosen not to seek re-election. Her mother, state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, also said she would not be seeking re-election.

Lee, 38, currently serves as the chair of the Committee on Judiciary.

When he was 30, the Kailua native suffered a stroke, which he said was a major wake-up call.

“It changed everything for me,” Lee said in the video. “I realized that we don’t have a lot of time. I want the time that I have to count. I want to look back with no regrets knowing that I did everything I could because we can’t afford to waste time on wishy washy leaders when there’s so much to fix.”

Lee grew up in Hawaii and attended Iolani School and Oregon State University.

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