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Mr. Buck repeatedly tried to deflect such questions, saying that Mr. Bennet had “once again tried to take this debate off-topic.”

“We need to stay focused on the issues that voters in this state care about, and those issues are spending and jobs,” said Mr. Buck, adding that in hundreds of meetings with voters, he had only been asked about abortion and gay marriage five or six times.

Democrats have also run ads against Mr. Buck over his decision against prosecuting a 2005 rape case, later saying he was worried the jury may decide the victim had a case of “buyer’s remorse.” At the debate, Mr. Bennet called the remark “horrible.”

Mr. Buck countered that the ad was “deceitful.” After his attorneys recommended against prosecuting the case, Mr. Buck referred the case to the Boulder County District Attorney, Mary Lacey, who affirmed the decision not to prosecute.

Mr. Buck called the case “abnormal” and stated that his office had been tough on prosecuting rapists, including five receiving life sentences.