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Frustrations over housing, data centers fuel local elections in Northern Va.

Northern Virginia’s local election races are in full gear, after early voting began Friday in party nomination contests where candidates are battling over how to address the need for affordable housing, the climate crisis and a surge of data-center development in the exurbs...

...Jefferson, a communications strategist, highlighted the thousands of dollars that Wheeler’s campaign has received from data-center developers and property owners who stand to benefit from a proposal to build a 2,100-acre “Digital Gateway” data-center complex in the Gainesville area. She accused Wheeler and the board’s four other Democrats of ignoring constituents’ concerns about the potential effects of data centers, including noise produced by exhaust fans, and of not doing enough to keep the area affordable for those residents.

“There is a strong sense that the board is not accountable to the people who voted for them,” Jefferson, 47, said. “All the Democrats ran on smart growth, and what the voters have seen is developer-driven growth...”


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