In an op/ed set to run in The Journal News tomorrow, Independence Party Chairman Frank MacKay says he is backing the proposed bipartisan coalition to lead the state Senate.

The op/ed, first posted today by Gannett’s Politics on the Hudson, comes as Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens becomes the fifth member of the breakaway coalition.

“I have no doubt that a coalition government between the IDC and the Republican conference would produce tremendous, bi-partisan accomplishments for the people of New York,” MacKay wrote in the op/ed. “That’s why such a coalition would have my full support and endorsement.”

MacKay endorsed all four members of the IDC for re-election very early in the election cycle in a joint news conference in Albany.

The party did wind up supporting Sen. Neil Breslin of Albany over the IDC-backed Shawn Morse in a primary.

The MacKay op/ed gives the IDC some institutional political support after traditional progressive groups and labor organizations held demonstrations in an effort to bring the IDC back to the Democratic fold.

But there appears to be little to no chance of that actually happening. IDC leader Jeff Klein has said he wants a rules change so the IDC becomes a permanent third conference in the chamber.

The full McKay op/ed is after the jump.

Recently, party composition of the New York State Senate has generated an overwhelming amount of media attention. At the fulcrum of this debate are four accomplished senators: Sen. Jeff Klein, Sen. David Carlucci, Sen. Diane Savino, and Sen. David Valesky. I am proud to say that the New York State Independence Party endorsed all four senators in their reelection campaigns this November.

In 2011, these senators took the bold step of forming the Independent Democratic Conference. After two years of what can only be described as dysfunction, these four senators were determined to form a conference that was serious about legislating. Since their formation, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

Over the past two years, the Independent Democratic Conference has helped to produce extraordinary bi-partisan results for New Yorkers. Having worked together to pass a property tax cap, an on-time budget, and a more efficient government work force, the IDC, alongside the Republican conference and Governor Cuomo, has gotten New York back on track. I’ve learned one thing during this time: bi-partisanship is clearly working here in New York.

That’s what makes recent press reports so exciting. According to officials in each conference, discussions are underway to establish a historic bi-partisan coalition of senators to govern the state Senate.

Over the past two years, these Democrats and the Republican conference have been informal partners in the effort to rebuild New Yorkers’ confidence in our government. I have every reason to believe that, should they decide to combine their talents to form a true coalition government, these conferences will continue, if not accelerate, the progress that we are making as a state.

As a voter and a local leader, I work to elect representatives that will be strong advocates for the interests of my family and for my community, rather than for single-minded interest groups. That’s because I know that we can only achieve meaningful, lasting progress when both parties sit-down to work out their differences. As the past two years have shown, it’s clear that a bi-partisan approach can work in New York.

Bi-partisanship isn’t always easy. But as we’ve seen across the country, crossing party lines is an essential piece to overcoming our biggest challenges. Two years ago, the members of the Independent Democratic Conference bravely decided to break the mold of politicians who are beholden to the party machine. By focusing on serious, reform minded legislation, these senators have shown that they can rise above partisan infighting and deliver meaningful results.

I have no doubt that a coalition government between the IDC and the Republican conference would produce tremendous, bi-partisan accomplishments for the people of New York. That’s why such a coalition would have my full support and endorsement.