Republican presidental candidate Ronald Reagan said yesterday he would attempt to avoid a 1976 pitfall by choosing a conservative vice presidential running mate.

Before flying back to California, Reagan told a news conference in Atlanta that the person he selects will be a philosophical soul mate."

The former California governor caused some displeasure among GOP conservatives four years ago when he announced that Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania would be his running mate if he were nominated.

Now, however, "I would be absolutely sure that my running mate would enunciate the same positions as I", he said.

Former Massachusetts senator Edward Brooke has endorsed Republican John Anderson calling him the only presidential candidate who recognizes the "pain and sacrifice" Americans must face.

Brooke said he chose the Illinois congressman over the other GOP contenders because he was "an effective champion of civil rights and civil liberties," and despite the conventional wisdom that says Anderson has only a slim chance of winning the nomination.

Standing next to Anderson at a Boston news conference, Brooke predicted the congressman would become the front-runner when people who admire his "bold and courageous" policies "have the courage to stand up and support his candidacy."

Republican presidential hopeful Howard Baker says the government must institute a variety of tax breaks to stimulate the economy and control inflation.

"The stimulative effect of the tax cut during the Kennedy years created more new wealth than the government lost in terms of the tax reduction," Baker told some 300 University of New Hampshire students in Derry.

"No way we can make do with no growth in the size of the United States economy," he said.

Baker also told students he does not support a peactime draft. But The Tennessee senator said he backs President Carter's call for resuming draft registration.

Baker, incidentally, hasn't spent much time in Puerto Rico in preparing for the Feb. 17 GOP primary there, but he let the folks know he's thinking of them.Yesterday he proposed that the 1980 summer Olympics be shifted there from Moscow.

In his battle for a fifth Senate term Frank Church has collected nearly eight times as much in campaign contributions as his conservative Republican challanger, Rep. Steve Symms.

Church reported Thursday he had collected $779,263 through the end of 1979. Church, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, collected nearly $350,000 during the last three months of 1979 and wound up the year with a balance of $565,390.

Symms, a four-term congressman from Idaho's 1st District, reported receipts for 1979 of just under $100,000 and $30,795 in his campaign coffers.