Sen. Stephen Brewer, top Mass. Senate budget writer, says he won’t run for reelection

Senate Ways and Means chairman Stephen M. Brewer said today he would not seek reelection in November, ending a State House career that, he said, began in 1980 when he was a legislative aide.

Brewer, a Barre Democrat, lost a bid for the Senate presidency last year when Amherst Democratic Senator Stanley C. Rosenberg claimed sufficient votes.

Brewer took the chairmanship of the Senate’s budget-writing committee in 2011, and has long worked on veterans’ affairs, helping Massachusetts become one of the states consistently ranked most generous to its veterans.

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In a press release, Brewer, a 65-year-old cancer survivor, said he planned to serve out his term and had “nothing specific” in mind about his post-State House career.

“[T]eaching, volunteering, travel, working with land trusts and learning the banjo hold specific appeal to me. I have a long bucket list,” he said.

Brewer said that “35 years of commuting to Boston is a long time. And it is indeed the worst part of my job. The second worst part for me is staying overnight in Boston. Boston is a wonderful city, but I really do prefer Barre.”