Laura Thielen ran as a Democrat for the state senate in the 2012 general election. She won 57 percent of the vote against Fred Hemmings to represent District 25, which includes Kailua, Enchanted Lake, Lanikai, Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai and Portlock.
Hawaii Democratic Party leaders opposed her candidacy citing her ties with the Hawaii Republican Party. Thielen is the daughter of longtime Republican state Rep. Cynthia Thielen and was the chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources under Republican Gov. Linda Lingle.