U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg yesterday declined an invitation from The Inquirer and NBC10 to participate in a televised debate on the eve of the June 3 New Jersey Democratic primary. His opponent, U.S. Rep. Robert E. Andrews, a Camden County Democrat, accepted the offer.

The debate was to have been broadcast on June 1 on NBC affiliates in Philadelphia and New York City, and would have been moderated by MSNBC news personality Chris Matthews.

The two will meet in a televised debate at 8 p.m. next Friday on NJN. That debate is also being sponsored by The Inquirer and Gannett New Jersey Newspaper Group. Those three news organizations sponsored Monday's GOP primary debate.

- Cynthia Burton