Northern Virginia: What Republican Bob Weir's election win means for the PW Gateway

Feb 24, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

As covered extensively by Baxtel, the PW Digital Gateway data center campus, planned outside Manassas, is the most controversial data center development in recent times. It has been opposed from many angles, with environmentalists arguing that it jeopardizes net-zero goals, and others arguing it is an erasure of county history. Republican Bob Weir, however, ran on a platform against data center development in rural areas of Virginia County, and won. The seat secured by Weir had been empty since Republican Supervisor Pete Candland stood down regarding the PW Digital Gateway data center project in December.

This week, the Virginia Department of Elections' released its unofficial results wherein Weir secured more than 60 percent of the special election vote against Democrat Kerensa Sumers. Previously, he had served as a Haymarket councilor for twelve years, and during that time, also served on the planning commission. 

Despite running on an anti-PW Gateway campaign, the rest of the board is a Democrat majority, and all support the development project. 

Weir has outlined that while not categorically opposed to data center development, he believes there is a time and a place: "Data centers don't belong in certain areas. They don't belong next to elementary schools. They don't belong next to residential neighborhoods." One data center next to a school is one too many. How many times will the BOCS [Board of County Supervisors] repeat this mistake? Adding: "Perceived tax revenues should not trump our children's educational opportunities or quality of life."