Greg Collard

Mark Harris has become a familiar name on the Republican ballot in North Carolina. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014, losing to Thom Tillis. Two years ago, he lost to Robert Pittenger in the primary race for the 9th district in Congress by just 134 votes.

This year, Harris is back for another shot at Pittenger. Both say the circumstances are different and in their favor for next week’s primary.

As the debate over tariffs on Chinese products and a potential trade war intensifies, there’s another battle emerging.

It concerns a multi-governmental agency called CFIUS - the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. CFIUS reviews foreign purchases of American companies to make sure they don’t jeopardize national security.

But a bipartisan group in the U.S. House and Senate says the committee needs expanded powers. In the House, North Carolina Congressman Robert Pittenger is leading an effort to overhaul CFIUS.

Legislation that transfers power to the incoming superintendent of Public Instruction is on hold. The North Carolina Board of Education filed a lawsuit Thursday to invalidate that legislation. It was scheduled to become law Sunday, but a Wake County judge will hold a hearing on the lawsuit next Friday before deciding whether the law can take effect.

Before we get too far into the weeds, here’s something you need to know: The superintendent of Public Instruction is not the head of the Department of Public Instruction. The state Board of Education is in charge.

Once again, a federal court has ruled that North Carolina Republican lawmakers unconstitutionally used race in their decision-making.