Real estate mogul and billionaire Rick Caruso hired a high profile political consulting firm, in what was reported Wednesday to be a sign that he could be planning a run for mayor of Los Angeles.

Caruso, the developer behind The Grove, Palisades Village and other shopping centers, hired Ace Smith and his firm Bearstar Strategies, Los Angeles magazine reported Wednesday. The firm worked as a consultant on Kamala Harris’ campaign for U.S. Senate, Gavin Newsom’s campaign for governor and Katie Porter’s campaign for Congress, according to its website.

A spokesperson for Caruso told Los Angeles magazine he is “seriously considering a run for mayor.”

“And as part of that consideration, he has worked with numerous people, including Bearstar Strategies, to analyze the situation and determine how best he can help solve L.A.’s mounting problems,” the spokesperson said, according to Los Angeles magazine.

Caruso, who was born in Los Angeles, served as the president of the civilian police commission after being appointed to the commission by Mayor James Hahn in August 2001, as well as on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.

Caruso became caught up in the USC college-admissions scandal, as he was serving as the chair of the USC Board of Trustees at the time. Olivia Jade Giannulli, a USC student and social media influencer who was enrolled at USC and whose parents were charged in the scandal, was on Caruso’s yacht when the news broke about the federal indictments. Giannulli was friends with Caruso’s daughter, who also attended USC.

If Caruso enters the race, he’ll join a field of high profile candidates, including Rep. Karen Bass, Councilmen Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer, City Association of Los Angeles President and CEO Jessica Lall and businessman Mel Wilson.

The primary for the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election will take place on June 7, with the top two finishers squaring off in the election on Nov. 8.

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