Ex-Flyer tosses puck into ring All-star left winger Brian Propp has a new goal: A seat in the state Assembly.

Posted: March 06, 2007

Brian Propp, a longtime Flyer and five-time NHL all-star, is entering a new arena: state politics.

Propp, a left winger in hockey, is running from the right for state assembly as a Republican, with lawyer Nancy Whatley Griffin as his running mate. They are seeking to turn back a Democratic incursion into Burlington County.

Propp, 48, said watching the Trenton political game for the past five years made him want to grab his stick and run for state office.

"I've seen what's been going on, especially over the last five years," he said. "It's a situation where seeing what's going on and then talking with Burlington GOP State Sen. Diane Allen - the timing was perfect."

He declined to discuss issues or initiatives, saying he wanted to consult with his campaign committee first.

A native of Canada, Propp said he became a U.S. citizen 11 years ago. Propp and Whatley Griffin will run against incumbent Assemblymen Herb Conaway and Jack Conners.

Propp is not Burlington County's first Republican candidate whose fame in another field buys him name recognition. The top of the GOP's legislative ticket is Allen, a former Philadelphia television news anchorwoman.

Allen said she recruited Propp to run after sitting with him at a Rotary Club lunch in Mount Holly last year.

"I looked into his bio and he does charity work far beyond anybody I know," she said. "His idea of public service is what we all should be emulating."

Propp runs an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Variety Club and works for other charities.

A Flyers Hall of Famer, Propp works as the director of business development for Harbor Lights Financial Group in Manasquan. He is also a commentator during Flyers games on WIP-AM.

Propp is married and has two children.

Republicans have had a tough time around the state and even in Burlington County, long a GOP stronghold. Both assembly seats in this district, which includes Propp's home of Cinnaminson, Edgewater Park and Mount Holly, have been held by Democrats since the late 1990s.

Democratic County Chairman Rick Perr said he believed his candidates would win reelection but that "nobody takes any election for granted."

He said that legislative races in this Seventh District and Burlington County's neighboring Eighth District could help pump up turnout for the freeholder and sheriff races.

Contact staff writer Cynthia Burton at 856-779-3858 or cburton@phillynews.com.

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