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Two Western Mass. Lawmakers Won't Seek Re-Election

Sarah Robertson
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Rep. John Scibak announces he won't seek re-election.

A pair of state lawmakers from western Massachusetts say they're calling it quits at the end of this term.

State Rep. John Scibak of South Hadley, Massachusetts, has decided to step down after 16 years in office. 

At 64 years old, he said he's tired, and the drives home from Boston were getting long.

Scibak said one of his proudest accomplishments was legislation he helped pass in 2012, which mandated insurance coverage of hearing aids for children who need them.

"The inability to hear at a time when language starts for a young toddler is really significant, and could mean the difference between somebody being in special education or not," Scibak said. 

Scibak said he made his announcement now, so that people interested in replacing him would have plenty of time to consider it before papers have to be filed in May.

Scibak took a trickier route when he first ran. He was a write-in candidate in the 2002 Democratic Primary. 

Meanwhile, state Representative Stephen Kulik of Worthington, Massachusetts, said Monday that after a quarter century in the House, he will also not seek re-election.

"Twenty-five years is a time to sort of pause and reflect, and as I did so, it seemed like a comfortable time for me to ste aside from the legislature," Kulik said.

Kulik said he's most proud of his work on behalf of regional schools and farmers. He hopes in his final 11 months in office to pass legislation doubling the state's dairy farm tax credit, which he helped set up a decade ago. 

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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