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With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, barbarians are entering the fray in the heated 5th Senate District race.

A new committee going by the name of "Barbarians at the Gate" is sending mail pieces opposing Democrat Cathleen Galgiani in her bid for the San Joaquin County swing seat.

The committee, first noted by daily political email newsletter The Nooner, has reported spending almost $12,000 so far.

Chris Orrock, who is working as a political consultant for the committee, said the name is "just a reference to what's happening in California politics."

"It can be taken any way. It can be that there's barbarians at the gate of California trying to take over, or it could be that there's other people behind the gate trying to defend it," he said.

Orrock, who is president of the Elk Grove Republicans, said the barbarian PAC isn't connected with that organization.

As for who is backing the PAC, Orrock described its contributors as "business sources in the Central Valley." He said forthcoming reports will list donors supporting the initial mail piece, which targets Galgiani's support for high-speed rail.

Orrock's committee isn't the only group spending in the battle between Galgiani and Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Stockton. Independent expenditure committees have dropped nearly $2 million to influence the outcome of the race, which could determine whether Senate Democrats win a two-thirds majority in the upper house.

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