1958 United States Senate election in Indiana

The 1958 United States Senate election in Indiana was held on November 4, 1958.

1958 United States Senate election in Indiana

← 1952 November 4, 1958 1964 →
  Vance Hartke.jpg Harold W. Handley (Indiana Governor) 2.jpg
Nominee Vance Hartke Harold W. Handley
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 973,636 731,635
Percentage 56.46% 42.42%

U.S. senator before election

William E. Jenner

Elected U.S. Senator

Vance Hartke

Incumbent Republican Senator William E. Jenner did not seek a third full term in office and was replaced by Democrat Vance Hartke, the mayor of Evansville. Hartke defeated incumbent Republican Governor of Indiana Harold W. Handley.

This was one of ten seats Democrats gained from the Republican Party in 1958, part of a record swing (including the elections of new Senators from Alaska and Hawaii).

General electionEdit


Senator William Jenner resigned shortly before the election and urged Governor Harold Handley, Jenner's political protégé, to seek his seat. A plan was proposed whereby Handley would resign the governorship, his lieutenant would appoint him Senator, and he would finish the term and run as an incumbent. When the plan was revealed to the party leadership, they strongly advised him to not implement the it because they feared it would hurt the party and be perceived as a scandal.[1]

Handley did not resign from the governorship during his campaign and was widely criticized for the unprecedented action. Hartke accused Handley of raising taxes, breaking of his campaign promise, his reluctance in supporting right-to-work, and rising state unemployment. Statewide unemployment was just above 10% in April, but dropped to 6.9% by the end of September.[1]


General election results[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Vance Hartke 973,636 56.46%  9.64
Republican Harold W. Handley 731,635 42.42%  10.02
Prohibition John R. Stelle 19,327 1.12%  0.47
Total votes 1,724,598 100.00% N/A
Democratic gain from Republican

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Gugin, Linda C.; St. Clair, James E, eds. (2006). The Governors of Indiana. Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana Historical Society Press. p. 333. ISBN 0-87195-196-7.
  2. ^ "Our Campaigns". OurCampaigns. Retrieved 7 January 2019.