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.”