Former Kerry Advisor New DNC Head

Former Kerry Advisor New DNC Head

(AP) -- The Democratic National Committee is turning to a longtime party operative and onetime presidential campaign manager to fill its top staff position.

Mary Beth Cahill will become interim CEO of the national party. She will replace Jess O'Connell, who departed this week after less than a year on the job.

Cahill ran John Kerry's failed 2004 presidential campaign. She's also a former executive director of the women's advocacy organization Emily's List.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez is still working to rebuild the reeling party organization and its lagging fundraising operation. The DNC has improved its fundraising in recent months but still is in a weak financial position compared with the Republican National Committee.

Cahill indicated in a statement that she does not want the job on a permanent basis.