North Carolina will conduct one of the nation’s most hotly contested U.S. Senate races in 2020. Incumbent Republican Thom Tillis is seeking his second term. A potential primary challenger recently dropped out of the race. Meanwhile, Democrats are competing for the right to face Tillis next fall. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, analyzes recent developments in the highly anticipated Senate battle. He also looks at the number of names on N.C. presidential primary ballots. The college football bowl season has arrived, and college basketball teams are nearing the heart of their conference schedules. It’s a good time for Jenna Robinson, president of the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, to remind us that big-college sports have lost all resemblance to amateur athletic contests. Robinson highlights problems associated with big-time college sports. She offers ideas for improving the situation. North Carolina’s experience with so-called “sanctuary cities” recently attracted attention on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Tillis highlighted the issue while discussing his proposed Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act. He explains how the measure would help those hurt by illegal immigrants who commit other crimes. Most people who go to prison end up returning to society. U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, R-6th District, is pushing legislation that would help former prison inmates return to lives as productive citizens. He outlined his proposals during a recent summit in Greensboro. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest sent competing letters recently to N.C. public school teachers. Both letters discussed the state budget impasse that has blocked teacher pay raises. Terry Stoops, John Locke Foundation vice president for research and director of education studies, discusses the letters and their links to partisan political activity.