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Pittsfield Democratic senator Downing eschews re-election

January 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — State Sen. Benjamin Downing, who has represented the Berkshires since 2007, says he will not seek re-election to a sixth term in November.

The 34-year-old Democrat from Pittsfield gave no specific reason for leaving the Legislature in his announcement Monday except to say he had promised himself earlier not to serve more than 10 years.

Downing is the Senate chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. The panel is currently reviewing several key energy bills including Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan seeking to increase the flow of Canadian hydropower into Massachusetts.

Downing is the son of the late Berkshire County District Attorney Gerard Downing.

He gave no immediate indication of what he plans to do after his current term ends.

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