Tony Avella, the underdog mayoral candidate, doesn’t want to be left out of the fight that’s brewing between Mayor Bloomberg and Comptroller William Thompson, Avella’s competition for the Democratic nomination.

In an exclusive interview with GothamSchools, Avella said he’s the reason that Comptroller William Thompson has taken to calling for Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to be fired. “He’s now copying me because he’s now seeing that I’m — my campaign is getting some attention because of my stance when it relates to education,” Avella said. Avella’s campaign issued a press release accusing Thompson of flip-flopping last week, when Thompson first said he would fire Klein.

Avella also echoed the mayor’s criticism of Thompson’s education record. “To be perfectly honest, I don’t see how he could ever run for mayor given that everybody knows how bad the Board of Education was,” Avella said in the interview. Thompson was the president of the Board of Education from 1996 to 2001.