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