Miami-based reporter Frieda Frisaro and her Florida colleague, reporter Curt Anderson, turned state-wire fodder into a great national read about the other side of the well-known “Florida Man” trope: the eccentric and brazenly self-promoting sheriffs the Sunshine State’s suspects come up against.

In a fresh and engaging take, Frisaro and Anderson framed their story as the struggle between these sheriffs and the “oddball miscreants” who populate Florida’s police blotters and local news. With colorful accounts of the sheriffs’ bold social media presence, game shows highlighting fugitives and over-the-top news conferences, the story captures the local officials’ outsized personalities and popular appeal.

The piece, coupled with photos collected from various sources around the state, fits into AP’s mission to deliver news from states for a national audience. It resonated strongly on social media and landed on some customer front pages.

Fla combo

In photo at left, Sheriff Carmine Marceno speaks at a news conference in Fort Myers, Fla., in an undated image from video provided by the Lee County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office. Marceno refers to his jail as the “Marceno Motel,” and his news conferences attract big audiences, often going viral. At right, Sheriff Grady Judd holds a bobblehead modeled after his likeness, in an undated image from video provided by the Polk County, Fla., Sheriff's Office. The bobblehead and others like it were sold to benefit the sheriff’s department charities.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office (left); Polk County Sheriff's Office via AP