Sutterfield, who last month lost to former Palm Beach Gardens High principal Barbara McQuinn in his second bid to sit on the seven-member board, said he will be living in the Boynton Beach home he never sold instead.
It’s a choice he said was foisted upon him by an unanticipated flood unleashed by some second-floor plumbing.
“It took out two bathrooms and some of the kitchen,” Sutterfield said Friday. And it sank a contract that was pending on the house, he added.
The matter of Sutterfield’s address was a contentious point in his latest school board race, with some McQuinn supporters, most notably former County Commissioner Karen Marcus, complaining he was carpetbagging.
Sutterfield, who’d lived in his Boynton Beach home for more than a decade, frankly confirmed that his plans to move were in part based on finding what he thought would be a more simpatico electorate – even in a non-partisan race.
The northern reaches of the county lean more Republican like himself, he noted in an interview with the Palm Beach Post editorial board.
He named various other ties to the Jupiter area other than his address, including his involvement with the local boy scout organization. But he needed a local address to run for the District 1 seat.
Sutterfield rented an apartment in Palm Beach Gardens and changed his voter registration to that address in time to qualify to run in the District 1 race for the school board over the summer.
Sutterfield said he and his family, including two daughters, spent time in both homes in the transition.
It took a bit longer for him to list his home for sale in Boynton Beach. According to real estate records, he did that Sept. 9 – 10 days after he and McQuinn successfully navigated the primary which eliminated four other candidates.
Sutterfield, however, lost the election Nov. 8 by some 20,000 votes.
The house listing was removed Nov. 21.
“I was up in Palm Beach Gardens and came home to a soggy mess,” Sutterfield said about his plumbing disaster. “It happens.”
And the plans he said he’d long held to move north, closer to his boyhood home in the Treasure Coast? “We’re reassessing. We’ll make a decision after the holidays.”
The technology administrator at the South Florida Water Management District, who also sits on the board of two charter schools said he will continue with that work and advocating for students.
“I’m going to keep doing what I always have done,” Sutterfield said.