GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – There’s another Republican resident of North Carolina who wants to be lieutenant governor, and this one suggests she would be the first Hispanic woman to be elected to that office.

Marlenis Hernandez Novoa, a paramedic firefighter from Raleigh, has become the 13th candidate and ninth Republican to want the job Republican Mark Robinson is vacating in pursuit of the governor’s office in 2024.

“We need politicians that are not scared to put the work in like I have,” Novoa said in a statement posted on her campaign website. “We need politicians who understand the struggles that the average American person faces. I am not your typical bureaucrat. I am proud that my husband and I have worked hard for our American dream.

“As your next Lieutenant Governor, I will work to restore the American dream for all North Carolinians. “

Catawba College political science professor and blogger Michael Bitzer’s tracking database shows 13 confirmed candidates for lieutenant governor, and at least three or four others have been speculated. Formal filing is scheduled for December.

Novoa joins a race that includes announced candidates:

  • Deanna Ballard, former state senator from District 45 who has a long history in government.
  • Peter Boykin, owner of the conservative political website
  • Rivera Douthit, an evangelist from Mooresville.
  • Jeffrey Elmore, the long-time representative in House District 94 who also teaches in Wilkes County Public Schools.
  • Allen Mashburn, pastor of Asbury Baptist Church in Randolph County who is photographed on his website with Lt. Gov. Robinson.
  • Sam Page, sheriff of Rockingham County who ran the 2020 campaign in North Carolina for former president Donald Trump
  • Hal Weatherman, who was chief of staff and campaign manager for former Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who ran for governor in 2020.
  • Seth Woodall, an attorney from Eden who enters the race with a significant advantage in funds.

The four confirmed Democrats are:

  • Ben Clark, a former state senator from Chatham County who ran for Congress in the 9th District last November.
  • Delmonte Crawford, a civil rights activist with no prior political experience.
  • Rachel Hunt, a state senator from Mecklenburg County and daughter of former Gov. Jim Hunt.
  • Raymond Smith Jr., a former representative for District 21 in the state House.

“[T]he major factor nowadays seems to be both resources, as in campaign funding to raise name recognition and identification, and ‘creating the buzz’ of typically fear-invoking statements and appeals to hard-core partisans within a party base — again, focused on raising name identification,” Bitzer said earlier this week.

Gaps in candidate’s history

Novoa mentioned the high cost of health care, inflation in general, the issue with crime and drugs and the need to spend more on public education as her key issues.

More from FOX8

North Carolina News

See the latest North Carolina news

An email announcing Novoa’s candidacy – but not her website – says she has a bachelor’s degree in “Mgr” and a master’s degree in “healthcare administration mgr,” although it didn’t specify the schools from which she had graduated.

It also mentions that she has 13 years of experience in immigration – although it didn’t explain how – and is an “incident commander” for FEMA.

An email to the original email address representing the campaign, asking questions about these points, drew no immediate response. She and her husband also are said to own a small business, although the release didn’t say what that business is, and she is married and the mother of four children.