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Howard Epstein, the MLA for Halifax Chebucto, said he plans to serve out the rest this term but won't be reoffering in the next election. (CBC)

Howard Epstein, a New Democrat stalwart in the Nova Scotia legislature, says he will not be running in the next provincial election.

Epstein, the MLA for Halifax Chebucto, said Tuesday he plans to serve out the rest of this term but he won't be reoffering in the next election.

"I turned 64 this week and that includes two terms on city council and five terms in the legislature and almost 40 years a member of the bar. I'm just ready for a change," he told CBC News.

Epstein said he has also decided to stop teaching at Dalhousie University's Schulich School of Law, where he has taught one course for the last several years.

"I've told them that will be my last year of teaching," he said.

"I have no solid plans for what will happen next."

Epstein was first elected to represent Halifax Chebucto in 1998, the year the New Democratic Party came within one seat of forming government.

Many New Democrats expected him to win a cabinet post when the party took power in the last election, but Premier Darrell Dexter never gave him the nod.

Epstein acknowledged that was "a disappointment."

"I would say I have mixed feelings. We haven't always seen eye to eye," Epstein said of his relationship with the premier.

"That's not a secret but you know, it's been a struggle. These have been really tough economic times."

Epstein said he has no desire to enter federal politics.

"Things are entirely open," he said.

Epstein now joins three other long-time New Democrat MLAs who have announced they will not reoffer in the next election.

Graham Steele and Bill Estabrooks, the MLAs for Halifax-Fairview and Timberlea-Prospect respectively, both announced in May they would not be reoffering. They both gave up their cabinet positions and said they would stay on as MLAs until the next election.

Michele Raymond, the MLA for Halifax Atlantic, announced in November she would be leaving the provincial legislature after her current term.