Yes, America may elect a woman as president next year. But she’s from Illinois.

The good news for us California provincials: a Californian could become the second most important woman in next year’s elections.

The question: which one?

Here are five candidates, in ascending order:

5. Anne Gust Brown. If she wakes up one day and suddenly decides that her husband needs to run for president, that could change everything. Of course, it’s much more likely that the Bay Bridge will fall down.

4. Dianne Feinstein. If the presidential election is a boring dud, a real possibility, then the big issue in California could well remain what it is today. Drought. And getting to any coherent policy on drought will require Feinstein’s intervention. She’s deeply engaged on the matter.

(4a. I can’t help adding: If this state ever really got behind State Senator Holly Mitchell’s really big plans on child care, nobody I know would care about the presidential election. Child care would distinguish this state and change our economy, families and culture for the better).

3. Carly Fiorina. Yeah, I know, she’s moved East. But she’s a product of California failures — her failed tenure at HP and her failed campaign for U.S. Senate made her the presidential candidate she is today. If she does well in the GOP primaries, it wouldn’t be a surprise – the rest of the country has a longstanding weakness for our failures, going all the way back to Junipero Serra and John C. Fremont.

2. Nancy Pelosi. Those Republicans are always talking about her. They can’t stop themselves. But even as the presidential campaign continues, she’ll be trying to win back the House for the Democrats – an uphill task for certain. But if she could pull it off, that’d be huge.

Her role in the trade discussion is also vital. That issue divides Democrats, especially in California, which is so dependent on trade. She’s trying to manage the issue carefully, and is taking fire from some anti-trade liberals for the terrible sin of letting the president talk to her members about the TPP, the trans-Pacific trade deal. If Pelosi can’t prevent a schism, that could hurt the party – and Clinton.

1. Ann Ravel.

Who? The former head of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission is now on the Federal Election Commission. Didn’t that go out of business? I thought so, too, but news reports suggest it’s just tied up in knots by partisan division.

Ravel, the FEC chair, knows this. She told the New York Times recently that when it comes to 2016, her commission is incapable of enforcing elections laws: “I never want to give up, but I’m not under any illusions. People think the F.E.C. is dysfunctional. It’s worse than dysfunctional.”

But the same story suggests the dysfunction could free Ravel up to do what she does best – get out in public and call people out. Look for Ravel to do some serious shaming of candidates and insert herself into the election debate, particularly as billions wash over the candidates, further corrupting this thoroughly corrupt country.

Ravel will be howling throughout the time. And she could end up shaping public perception, the campaign, and who ends up getting elected president.