Mike Lee, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has been named by Time Magazine as one of the country's political "rising stars."

In its first "40 Under 40" list of burgeoning civic leaders, the publication refers to Lee on its website as being the "Tea Party hero most likely to enter the Senate in 2011."

Lee faces Democrat Sam Granato and Constitution Party candidate, Scott Bradley, in next month's election.

The list was put online Thursday morning, and the story will also be featured in the Oct. 25 print issue.

Ryan McCoy, Lee's deputy campaign manager, said in a statement Thursday, "Mike is obviously flattered with his inclusion on the Time list and feels the honor is simply a reflection of a committed campaign, timely message, dedicated staff and an unrivaled volunteer force which has captured the attention and imagination of Utahns as well as individuals across the country."

Time leads into the list with the following statement: "In an epic election cycle, a new generation of civic leaders is already at work trying to fix a broken system - and restore faith in the process. Meet the rising stars of American politics."

Lee tells the magazine that Ronald Reagan is his political hero; RedState.com is his "go-to political blog"; and "deficit spending" is the country's "most overlooked issue."

Others on the list include: Jeb and Columba Bush's oldest son, George P. Bush, the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas; Jennifer O'Malley Dillon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee; Sarah Huckabee, Mike Huckabee's daughter and Senate candidate John Boozman's campaign manager; Ben Jealous, the president and CEO of the NAACP; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily's List, an organization that recruits Democratic women to run for office; and Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan.

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