Get ready for a healthy serving of 2016, Charleston.

The Lowcountry is in the middle of an early flurry of visits by presidential hopefuls, and it’s only just gotten started.

The only major candidate to announce so far — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — was in town for Easter, kicking off a nine-day stretch of visits. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul plans to launch his South Carolina campaign Thursday at Patriots Point, and the coming days will see stops from Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Why now? As The Post and Courier’s Schuyler Kropf explains, Congress is on a holiday break, and Charleston has a key voting bloc for Republican candidates. The region’s rich with military retirees, religious voters, tea party backers and right-leaning moderates.

In other news...

New Statehouse leadership has contributed to gridlock in Columbia, slowing work on ethics, domestic violence reform and roads funding.

Before a segregated war memorial in Greenwood can be changed, the legislature has to approve it. A bill to do that is going nowhere.

A photo of a racial slur at the University of South Carolina shows that “we still have racism in our climate,” the NAACP says.

USC, Clemson and state lawmakers want to tighten rules on fraternities after a string of trouble at both schools.

The Citadel is planning a pair of building projects with multimillion dollar price tags.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham thinks U.S. should let its next president, not President Barack Obama, broker a nuclear deal with Iran.