Monmouth County Republicans are headed into Saturday’s Special Election Convention with six candidates vying Amy Handlin’s Freeholder seat. The conventional wisdom is that Howell Mayor Joseph DiBella is the front-runner, but Wall Republican Municipal Chairman Robert McKenna and Highlands Councilwoman Anna Little. Hazlet Committeewoman Bridget Antonucci and Marlboro Mayor Robert Kleinberg have some pockets of County Committee votes,and attorney Thomas Seno is viewed as having a lock of last place. DiBella has won endorsements from State Senator Joseph Kyrillos and Freeholder Director Bill Barham; McKenna’s key backer is Assemblyman Sean Kean, while Little has support from Freeholder Theodore Narozanick and former Freehodler Thomas Powers. The worst kept secret in the Monmouth GOP right now is that the Republican County Chairman, Frederick Niemann, is quietly backing DiBella. Republicans will have another fierce contest in about two months, if Narozanick and Surrogate Marie Muhler decide not to seek re-election, and a third in June — two challengers have already entered the race to take on Niemann for County Chairman.