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In the July 2003 general election, Mrs. Alvarez ran for the presidency of Argentina, representing the ruling Front for Victory party. She won with 45.29% of the vote, a 22% lead over her nearest rival. This was one of the widest margins obtained by a candidate since democracy returned in 1983, and it avoided the need for a runoff election. Sworn in on July 13, 2003, she became the first wife in history to be elected after her husband as a president.