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Secretary of state candidate leaves architectural firm

July 30, 2010

Vop Osili, co-founder and president of A2SO4, has left the Indianapolis architectural firm to concentrate on his campaign for Indiana secretary of state.

Osili, 47, is the Democratic nominee for the office, which will be decided in the November election.

He and Sanford Garner launched A2SO4 in 2000. The firm, located on South Meridian Street in the historic Union Station building, has 22 employees.

Garner, 41, who had been chief operating officer, has been named president following Osili’s departure and will oversee daily operations at the firm.

Garner doesn’t expect much to change at A2SO4, which focuses mostly on urban redevelopment, higher education and K-12, and public projects.

“The time is very exciting for me, because I see the potential for Vop in his new direction and the potential for the company to grow,” Garner said.

Current Secretary of State Todd Rokita is nearing the end of his two-term limit and is vying to represent the state’s 4th Congressional district.

Osili knocked off former Gov. Joe Kernan aide Tom McKenna in the Democratic primary. But he will face a tough opponent in Republican Charlie White, the Hamilton County Republican Party chair, said Ed Feigenbaum, publisher of Indiana Legislative Insight.  Libertarian Mike Wherry also is running.

“Charlie has a lot of statewide contacts,” Feigenbaum said. “Vop is a party outsider of sorts. He’s not shown he can raise a significant amount of money for a campaign.”

As of June 30, Osili had $38,835 in his campaign war chest compared to White’s $80,637, according to the Secretary of State Office’s election division.

Osili, however, remains confident.

“I don’t look at the opposition,” Osili said when asked to handicap his chances. “I look at the people of the state and that they’ll have a friend in the secretary of state.”

In the event he loses the election, Osili declined to speculate whether he would return to the architectural firm or whether he would embark on another career.
 

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