BRIDGEPORT — Keith Coote sat at the end of the bar in Metric, the Cannon Street restaurant that has outlasted several other downtown dining destinations, sipping a scotch.

“Enough is enough as far as I’m concerned,” Coote, 64, said.

Coote was among the 55 or so people who turned out Monday night for state Sen. Marilyn Moore’s inaugural fundraiser for her mayoral campaign.

“Enough is enough” might as well have been the evening’s theme, because it was clearly how many attendees feel about Bridgeport. Enough of the same political insiders running Connecticut’s largest city. Enough of the scandals involving local government.

“Somebody said to me, ‘Oh, you really think there’s a (Democratic political) machine?’” Moore told the crowd. “Hell yeah. ... It is time to break the machine.”

That so-called machine, run by veteran Town Chairman Mario Testa, has so far helped Testa ally Mayor Joe Ganim raise close to $200,000 for his re-election. So Moore, who announced her candidacy last month on Martin Luther King Day, is beginning to ask for money in earnest.

Moore in an interview said she has received $7,000 since launching her campaign. She raised about $4,000 Monday, Moore said, adding that, at a suggested $25-per-person, it was higher than anticipated. Ganim’s inaugural re-election fundraiser in March 2017 was $500 to $1,000 a head.

“We’ve got about nine fundraisers set up” in the coming days, Moore said. “I got three in the next week. ... I’m trying to do Bridgeport before I start doing outskirts.”

She said she has had offers from supporters in Hartford, Greenwich and Darien.

“I know I’m not going to be able to pull off the money I need just in Bridgeport, but I want to focus on the local people first,” Moore said.

Coote lives in Monroe, which Moore also represents at the Capitol in Hartford along with Trumbull. But Coote said he was born and raised in Bridgeport. And, he added, this is his first time getting involved in a campaign.

“This is all new to me, but I’m ready to fight,” Coote told Moore.

Others in the crowd were seasoned political warriors. Recently retired state Sen. Ed Gomes and Chris Donovan, the former state House speaker-turned-political action coordinator for the Connecticut Education Association, traded stories about union organizing and legislating at Metric’s bar.

“She’s a very good person,” Donovan said of Moore.

Gomes, who, like Moore, has a reputation as an independent and, also like Moore, won races without the Democratic Town Committee’s support, said he has known her since she was 7 and will do anything she asks him to.

Mayoral firsts

Some present saw potential history-in-the-making. City Councilman Jack Banta, who is black like Moore, said, “We have a chance electing a viable African-American person.”

Moore would be Bridgeport’s second female mayor, but its first minority chief executive.

Longtime activist Deb Sims is also black, but said it is more important to her that Moore is a woman.

“A principled woman,” Sims said. “She’s a fighter for us.”

There was not a lot of specific mention of Ganim, who ran the city from 1991 until 2003 when he was convicted of orchestrating a pay-to-play operation out of City Hall. Ganim, with the help of Testa and others, defeated incumbent Bill Finch in a 2015 Democratic primary and won a historic comeback that November.

“I’m not going to compare the two,” Donovan said when asked about Ganim and Moore. “I just think she’d be great for Bridgeport.”

Marshall Marcus, a member of Trumbull’s Democratic Town Committee, owns some residential property in Bridgeport. He said one reason he supports Moore is because she “doesn’t have the taint of the Ganim administration.” He suggested Bridgeport and Trumbull, which need to collaborate on big issues like development and sewage treatment, might even have a closer relationship were Moore mayor.

Moore during her speech alluded to the ongoing FBI criminal probe of illicit scrap metal sales and no-bid contracts involving Bridgeport’s public facilities department. The anonymous letter that helped trigger the investigation did not specifically target Ganim, and the mayor has tried to distance himself from any wrongdoing by employees in his administration, firing some, punishing others, and implementing new policies.

Moore said that she is not promising any jobs to anyone. Ganim’s City Hall is filled with people who helped him return to office, like John Ricci, the public facilities director. Ganim took four weeks of pay from Ricci because of the ongoing scandal.

And, Moore said, under her, “Everybody has a chance at a contract — the same chance. And we’re not playing favorites.”

The senator did offer a back-handed compliment of the mayor’s announcement Friday about the hiring of Guidepost Solutions. The New York-based consulting firm will review purchasing, the handling of cash and other government functions. Moore in an interview earlier this month had said Ganim should bring in an independent, non-partisan entity amidst the FBI probe.

“He’s already starting to take my suggestions,” Moore said.