By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Indianapolis

1. 2nd CD field takes shape

The 2nd CD field is taking shape in a short sprint toward Saturday’s 11 a.m. caucus at Mishawaka Grissom MS to chose a replacement nominee for the late U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski and to finish the final months of her term, with State Rep. Curt Nisly, attorney Tiernan Kane and Michael Hogberg filing with the GOP. Former attorney general Curtis Hill announced this morning: “Our nation has been spiraling downward under the current administration. Today, costs are out-of-control, with prices for food, rent and gasoline straining our household budgets. Education has become indoctrination. Public safety has given way to rampant crime. And the rule of law has evolved into witch hunts that threaten our cherished freedoms. As your next congressman, I will fight as a true Conservative to restore common sense and traditional values to our great nation.”

Former legislator Christy Stutzman announced on Monday under the slogan “bold, proven, conservative” and will be meeting with precinct officials in Rochester today, Warsaw on Wednesday, Nappanee on Thursday, South Bend on Friday and Mishawaka just before the caucuses.

Monday was dominated by Rudy Yakym III, who was endorsed by Walorski’s husband, Dean Swihart: “Rudy is a political outsider who has what it takes to stand up to the Pelosi-Biden agenda. He will fight to do the right thing, just as Jackie did every day of her career.” Yakym, who was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to the Indiana Finance Authority and the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission & Judicial Qualifications Commission, said in a statement to HPI, “Over the past decade Jackie has been a mentor and friend, and I have learned a lot about public service working alongside her. I am running for the 2nd District to not only honor her legacy, but to represent Hoosier common sense in Washington.”

What's HPI's Horse Race take? Yakym probably has the most momentum with the Swihart endorsement coming just days after Walorski's emotional funeral. The field of six candidates makes that nod even more potent.

2. Spartz calls Mar-a-Lago search 'political'

U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, who was with Donald Trump at Bedminster the day after the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, told Ken de la Bastide of the Anderson Herald Bulletin: "It’s just political and getting the FBI involved is very dangerous. It shouldn’t happen. No one should be treated like that. I believe he’s getting used to it. We can’t have a police state.”

3. Trump's split screen week

When U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney goes down in defeat tonight, she'll be the eighth House Republican who voted to impeach Donald Trump to lose or retire. As NBC's Chuck Todd notes, "Donald Trump's revenge tour is now almost complete. It's a stunning split-screen moment: Trump’s grip on his party has never seemed stronger after Jan. 6. But it also comes at a time when there's never been more potential legal trouble for the former president and those associated with him." On Monday, Rudy Giuliani became a target in the Georgia probe, former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges; and DOJ asked that the Mar-a-Lago search warrant affidavit remained sealed “to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security.”

4. The check is in the mail

NWI Times' Dan Carden reports that Auditor Tera Klutz began printing out 1.7 million tax rebate checks on Monday. The checks initially were going to be worth $125 per eligible taxpayer, or $250 for a married couple, as an automatic taxpayer refund linked to excess state revenue at the end of the 2021 budget year. However, earlier this month the Indiana General Assembly decided to send eligible Hoosiers a second distribution of $200 based on the state's unprecedented tax receipts during the 2022 budget year that ended June 30. The fortuitous timing of Klutz finally obtaining the needed security paper and Gov. Eric Holcomb signing Senate Enrolled Act 2 into law means the two payments can be put onto a single check, saving the state about $1 million in paper, printing and mailing costs, according to the auditor's office.

5. DOJ rescues 9 kids

WTHR-TV reports that during a two-week operation earlier this month, the FBI located 84 victims of child sex exploitation and found 37 actively missing children during a nationwide sex trafficking initiative, including nine children were rescued in Indiana and three sex offenders were caught on Aug. 12. Attorney General Merrick Garland: “The Justice Department is committed to doing everything in our power to combat the insidious crimes of human trafficking that devastate survivors and their families.”

Thanks for reading, folks. It's The Atomic!