OCCOQUAN, VA—When David Swavely put down roots in this snug eastern corner of Prince William County 28 years ago, it was a conservative bastion, amply stocked with the trees and quiet he sought when the Navy transferred him from California to the nation’s capital, just a half-hour drive north. “But it’s not so rural anymore,” says the 71-year-old Republican, betraying a whiff of nostalgia during this riverside hamlet’s recent fall craft fair. And maybe, Swavely also allowed, it’s not so conservative either.

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