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The Detroit branch of the NAACP has fallen behind in sending cash to the civil rights group’s national office, spoiling a well-known pastor’s bid for a board seat.

Rev. Wendell Anthony received a letter from the NAACP saying the Detroit branch owes $46,000. He blamed the problem on the weak economy but promised to settle the issue soon.

Anthony is president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Detroit branch, one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious chapters in the civil rights organization. Its Detroit operation costs about $80,000 a month and is one of the few branches with a full-time daily office.

Anthony wanted to run for a seat on the national board, but was turned down.

NAACP spokesman Chris Fleming declined to comment on the situation.

The Detroit branch of the NAACP was chartered in 1912 and has been in the forefront of the civil rights struggle.

Anthony has been president since 1993.

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